Counties Urge Caution Over Proposal to Alter RISE Zone Program

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally today submitted testimony to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee to support SB 778 Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise Zone Program – Alterations with amendments.

While this bill generally expands the purpose of the Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise (RISE) Zone program, it also repeals the program by 2028. County governments believe the tax incentives offered by this program are extremely effective and urge the Committee to keep them intact.

From the MACo Testimony:

The RISE program is a primary example of these collaborative efforts. The program, which is in its early stages, brings together state and local resources to encourage businesses in target industries such as engineering, biotechnology, aerospace, robotics, and agriculture to locate in communities anchored around higher education institutions, research parks, and nonprofits. The zones are created in partnership with local governments to help ensure that the business investment and associated incentives reflect community needs.

Counties appreciate that the bill provides additional incentives for the high-tech industry to partner with community anchor institutions. However, sunsetting the program eliminates a powerful economic development tool for local governments, and jeopardizes efforts to advance local innovation at Maryland’s world-class universities and research institutions.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.