MACo Stands Behind 9-1-1 Specialists on Local Option Tax Benefits

On February 26th, Kevin Kinnally submitted written testimony to the Health and Government Operations Committee in support of HB 1090 9-1-1 Specialists – Compensation and Benefits with amendments.

Counties are eager and committed partners in promoting economic growth and creating opportunity – we prefer local autonomy in determining the best way locally. The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) opposes state-mandated reductions in local revenue sources, but welcomes tools to grant counties options and flexibility to pursue their own parallel tax incentives, or to develop others to suit their local needs.

From the MACo Testimony:

This bill would provide additional tax benefits to 9-1-1 specialists by expanding the existing subtraction modification for retired law enforcement, correctional officers and fire, rescue, and emergency services personnel to include 9-1-1 specialists, creating a subtraction modification of up to $3,000 of the qualified health insurance premium paid by a retired 9-1-1 specialist, and expanding an existing local property tax credit for 9-1-1 public safety telecommunicators…

…Property taxes show the best collaborative way to enact targeted tax relief. The State and its local governments already work together here – where the State routinely grants a state-level tax credit, but then enables county governments to enact their own as a local option.

State proposals that involve local revenue sources can be enacted as “local option” offerings, to allow counties maximum flexibility to achieve local goals. MACo urges the Committee to primarily consider state income tax credits as the best means to incorporate local tax relief as part of a broader policy.

For more on 2019 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.