MACo: Costly Tax Incentive Lacks Local Input

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally today submitted testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee in opposition to HB 1052 Income- Tax - Subtraction Modification - Trade of Business Enterprise Expenses Resulting in Federal Loan Forgiveness. 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…

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MACo Supports Novel Approach to Address Septic System Pollution

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson yesterday testified in support of HB 878 Bay Restoration Fund - County Authority to Incur Indebtedness before the House Ways and Means Committee. This bill provides counties with an optional and flexible tool to make grants and loans to address septic system pollution. From the MACo Testimony: HB 878 authorizes a county to borrow money and incur indebtedness through the issuance and sale of notes in anticipation of the receipt of…

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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…

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MACo Calls for Continuity and Clarity for Forest Conservation Banking

On February 24th, 2021 MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee to support HB 991 Natural Resources - Forest Mitigation Banks - Qualified Preservation with amendments. This bill ensures that practices related to forest conservation banking continue. Counties have voiced support for clarifying amendments on the intent of the bill and its application. From the MACo Testimony: An October opinion from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) indicates…

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Counties Call for Increase in Child Care Grants

On February 24, MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin today testified before the House Ways and Means Committee to support HB 944 - Growing Family Child Care Opportunities Pilot Program Established. This bill establishes a program that would provide grants to increase available child care grants across Maryland. From the MACo Testimony: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact families in Maryland, access to affordable, safe child care opportunities is critically important. HB 944 would provide a…

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Counties Support Small Business Relief, Request Local Input on Broad Tax Break

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday submitted testimony to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in support of SB 722 Small Business COVID-19 Relief Act of 2021 with amendments. Counties support SB 772's strong commitment to delivering meaningful relief to small businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic but are concerned about the bill's carryover fiscal effects, which would undermine county revenues and support for schools, public health, public safety, and other essential community services –…

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MACo: Enhance Equity in Property Tax Assessments

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday testified in support of SB 782 - State Department of Assessments and Taxation - Real Property Assessments and Appeals, before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. This bill generally aims to provide more transparent, accurate, and timely property tax assessments, which will enhance equity and fairness for all taxpayers MACo agrees with the bill's sponsor, Senator Antonio Hayes, that the fiscal note does not represent the intent of the…

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Bill Sets Unreasonable Requirements on Local Finance Offices

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday testified in opposition to HB 1050 - Tax Sales - Notices before the House Ways and Means Committee. This bill requires county governments to identify and notify any person with a lien on or interest in a property prior to tax sale. Because counties do not possess the necessary tools to identify all parties with an interest in a property, they would need to hire an outside company to…

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State Psychiatric Facilities Best Equipped To Handle Mental Illness

On Febraury 23rd, 2021 MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified before the House Judiciary Committee in opposition to HB 851 - Corrections - Restrictive Housing - Serious Mental Illness. This bill seeks to ensure proper care for inmates kept in restrictive housing. Mr. Sanderson joined Major T.D Reece from the Calvert County Detention Center, expressing concern that the bill's application to county facilities was misplaced, despite the compelling argument for inmate welfare. From the MACo…

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MACo Supports Next Steps for Statewide 3-1-1 System

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally today submitted testimony in support of SB 631 - Public Safety - Statewide 3-1-1 Nonemergency Telephone System to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee This bill creates a statewide 3-1-1 telephone system to connect Marylanders to the government for non-emergency needs. The bill's sponsor and Chair of the Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland, Senator Cheryl Kagan, submitted amendments to create a workgroup to determine how to best deploy 3-1-1…

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