Tax Incentives Should Preserve Local Autonomy

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday submitted testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee in opposition of three bills that would reduce county revenues without local input:

HB 1183 Income Tax – Standard Deduction – Charitable Contributions

HB 1230 Income Tax – Subtraction Modification – Computer Equipment

HB 1161 Income Tax – Subtraction Modification – School Supplies

The swift and unprecedented shock of the COVID-19 public health crisis has wreaked havoc on the economy. As the focus shifts to restoring our state and local economies in a manner that is safe, equitable, and prosperous for all, 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:

The swift and unprecedented shock of the COVID-19 public health crisis has wreaked havoc on the economy. As the focus shifts to restoring our state and local economies in a manner that is safe, equitable, and prosperous for all, counties are eager and committed partners in promoting economic growth and creating opportunity – we prefer local autonomy in determining the best way locally.

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. MACo and county governments hope the Committee finds these comments helpful. Counties stand ready 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 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.

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