Costly Tax Incentives Preclude Local Input

On January 19, 2023, MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally submitted testimony to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in opposition to SB0049 – Income Tax – Subtraction Modification – Retirement Income, SB0076 – Income Tax – Subtraction Modification – Public Safety Volunteers, and SB0083 – Income Tax – Subtraction Modification – Military and Public Safety Retirement Income.

The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) has also submitted written testimony for HB0015—the cross-file of SB0083—which was heard on February 2, 2023. As of this writing, there are no cross-files for SB0049 and SB0076.

Counties are eager and committed partners in promoting economic growth and creating opportunity – and prefer local autonomy in determining the best way locally. MACo opposes state-mandated reductions in local revenue sources, but county governments welcome flexible and optional tools to serve and react to local needs and community priorities.

MACo urges the General Assembly 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 stand ready to work with state policymakers to craft flexible and optional tools to deliver broad or targeted tax incentives but resist state-mandated changes that preclude local input.

From the MACo Testimony (SB0049, SB0076, SB0083):

In general, MACo stands for local self-determination. Counties, led by locally elected leaders directly accountable within the communities they serve, are best positioned to govern local affairs – ranging from land use to fiscal matters. MACo steadfastly guards this local autonomy and consistently advocates against one-size-fits-all policies that override local decision-making.

State tax incentives should be enacted as “local option” offerings to allow counties maximum flexibility in tailoring local policies to meet local needs and priorities. The State and its local governments already work together here – where the State routinely grants a state-level property tax credit, enabling county governments to enact their own as a local option.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2023 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database

Learn more about MACo’s 2023 Legislative Initiatives

Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog

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