MACo Associate Director, Barbara Zektick, submitted written testimony to amend legislation (SB 796) which creates a tax incentive program to encourage businesses to locate and expand in several jurisdictions suffering economic stresses. MACo is concerned with restricting jurisdictions from participation, along with the possibility that the program could result in businesses relocating inside the state.
MACo’s testimony provides suggestions for the bill’s amendments:
Expand Program Participation to “Distressed Areas” In Any Jurisdiction
Economic growth, regardless of the region of the state, has statewide benefits. Instead of limiting participation, program criteria should enable all local jurisdictions to participate. However, counties appreciate that incentives should be targeted in areas experiencing distress or otherwise necessitating investment. As such, MACo supports efforts to ensure that benefits under the program are provided in areas targeted for economic investment, as identified by the Department of Commerce in consultation with county governments.
Limit the Tax Incentives to Businesses Newly Moving Into or Expanding Within the State
The special incentives provided by this program are potentially lucrative, and could result in businesses relocating from one part of the state to another. To prohibit this from occurring, the program should apply only to businesses newly locating into Maryland, or to those launching substantial expansions in the state – not to those who may relocate intrastate.
SB 796 was heard by the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee on March 7, 2017.
Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 Legislative Session here.