MACo Associate Director, Barbara Zektick, provided written testimony in opposition to House Bill 399, “Student Debt Relief Act of 2017,” before the House Ways and Means Committee on February 15, 2017.
This bill creates a subtraction modification equal to 100% of the total interest paid on qualifying student loans if the taxpayer earns under certain income thresholds. In general, MACo argues that local tax structures should remain a local prerogative. MACo is concerned with the carryover county fiscal effects of this legislation and would prefer approaches that provide local autonomy to determine the best way to provide tax incentives, rather than those that mandate reductions in local revenue sources.
HB 399 is one of many bills introduced this session to reduce or adjust the income taxes paid by residents of Maryland. This revenue effect, combined with that of other bills that have been introduced so far this session, is simply not affordable as a statewide county mandate and could present substantial budget difficulties.
From MACo testimony:
Counties welcome the chance to work with state policymakers to develop flexible and optional tools to create broad or targeted tax incentives, but resist state-mandated changes that preclude local input.
Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session here.