Counties: Clarify Tax Exemption Authority

MACo submitted written testimony in support of House Bill 964, “Admissions and Amusement Tax – Exemption for School Field Trips”, to the House Ways and Means Committee on February 20, 2018.

HB 964 grants counties clear authority to exempt different public school activities from admission and amusement taxes. This could affect school events outside of the jurisdiction and school field trips to different parts of the State and county.

MACo supports this explicit language that outlines county authority with clarity.

From MACo Testimony:

MACo generally supports legislation enabling counties to authorize tax exemptions by local ordinance, as opposed to bills which mandate those exemptions across the board. Mandated tax exemptions require each county to forego meaningful local revenues to support essential public services, even if the exemption does not serve the best interests of that county. Particularly, but not exclusively, during times of economic uncertainty and revenue projection shortfalls, counties require
full authority to balance their budgets as they deem most fit. MACo appreciates the sponsor’s willingness to introduce this bill in its amended form (from last year) to authorize, rather than require, this tax exemption.”

For more information on HB 964 and other legislation, follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.