SDAT Extends Business Filings Deadline to July 15

The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) today announced that the 2020 deadline to submit Annual Reports and Personal Property Tax Returns will be automatically extended to July 15 as part of the Hogan administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Expiration dates for trade names and name reservations, as well as entity forfeiture dates, will also be extended to 30 days after the state of emergency is rescinded in accordance with Governor Hogan’s executive…

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Parks Departments Enforcing Social Distancing to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

Large increases in foot traffic to local parks have forced parks departments to take steps to enforce social distancing guidelines by removing certain athletic equipment to prevent crowds. As the coronavirus crisis temporarily keeps residents mostly in their homes, many are using parks and public recreation areas to get some time outdoors. Local departments have received numerous reports of residents using playground equipment and also participating in team sports. Officials have been reminding residents that…

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Opinion: Stimulus Package Will Remain Half-Baked Unless Local Governments Get More of the Dough

President Trump this week signed a massive $2 trillion stimulus package designed to keep the economy afloat amid the deepening COVID-19 pandemic. As previously reported on Conduit Street, The bill includes $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds; $500 billion lending fund for industries, local governments, and states; $367 billion for small business loans; $130 billion for hospitals; and $1,200 checks to most Americans. The $150 billion for state and local governments is generally…

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FCC Order Aims to Bolster Rural Broadband Access Amid COVID-19 Epidemic

The Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau today granted temporary spectrum access to 33 wireless internet services providers serving 330 counties in 29 states, including Maryland, in order to serve rural communities facing increased broadband demands amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary order allows these providers to use the lower 45 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for 60 days. "Like everyone else, rural Americans are facing an increased need for broadband…

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Deadline Approaching for #MACoCon Session Proposals – Submit Yours Today!

The deadline for MACo's 2020 Summer Conference speaking proposals is April 15 - submit yours today! MACo's 2020 Summer Conference will be held on August 19-22 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD. (As of this writing, MACo plans to hold the conference as scheduled, but will decide in early July if COVID-19 concerns necessitate the conference be canceled - if so, all registrations, sponsorships, and exhibit fees will be refunded) The…

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Maryland Receives Major Disaster Declaration for COVID-19 Crisis

Governor Larry Hogan announced tonight that Maryland has received a Major Disaster Declaration from the federal administration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration means that Maryand is eligible to be reimbursed for the Emergency Protective Measures taken by state and local government agencies and certain non-profit groups under its Public Assistance program under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Earlier today, Maryland reported 580 confirmed cases of COVID-19—an increase of 157 new cases, which…

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Montgomery Plans to Create $20 Million Fund for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus

The Montgomery County Council has introduced legislation designed to get money flowing quickly to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. The $20 million fund would provide companies with $75,000 each to deal with the burdens. The Washington Business Journal reports: The full County Council introduced legislation on the topic Tuesday with County Executive Marc Elrich’s support. The new grants will be open to any business or nonprofit with 100 or fewer full-time employees, a bid…

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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Hit Record 3.3 Million Amid COVID-19 Epidemic

A record 3.3 million Americans, including 42,000 Marylanders, filed for unemployment benefits last week, as businesses shut down to slow the spread of the coronavirus. In the week ending March 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 3,283,000, an increase of 3,001,000 from the previous week's revised level, according to the United States Department of Labor. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally…

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State Moves Forward with Plan to Conduct Presidential Primary Election Via Mail

As health officials warn that social distancing and other measures to contain the COVID-19 epidemic might be in place months, the Maryland State Board of Elections (SBE) yesterday voted to ban any in-person voting for the special general election on April 28 and recommended against in-person voting for the June 2 presidential primary election. https://twitter.com/KKinnally_MACo/status/1242902825631453184 Earlier this month, Governor Larry Hogan ordered the special general election to fill the late Rep. Elijah Cummings’s congressional seat…

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