Maryland Issued “Mediocre” Rating for Infrastructure

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has given Maryland an overall 2020 infrastructure grade of C. The group gives Maryland high marks in areas like bridge resiliency and airport capacity but highlights issues with transit, citing an eight-year decline in ridership. ASCE issues grades in various infrastructure categories based on the following criteria: capacity, condition, operation and maintenance, funding, future need, public safety, resilience, and innovation. Consistent throughout the report are references to a…

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Bill Improving Broadband Mapping Data Passes Congress

The Broadband Deployment and Technological Availability (DATA) Act passed the United States Senate this week after the House of Representatives made changes earlier this month. This bipartisan legislation will improve the accuracy of federal broadband maps so that electric cooperatives are able to secure funding to bring high-speed internet service to rural communities more easily. The Federal Communications Commission will collect more detailed data from broadband providers and also make it illegal for providers to…

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MACo: Cutting Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Payments Hurts Local Economies

On March 5, 2020, MACo Associate Director Kevin Kinnally submitted testimony to the House Ways & Means Committee in opposition to HB 1117 - Economic Development - Enterprise Zone Program - Alterations. This bill would limit the amount that the State must reimburse local governments for property tax credits issued under the Enterprise Zone tax credit program. From the MACo Testimony: The Enterprise Zone program helps incentivize businesses to locate or expand into several low-income or…

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Counties: Makerspace Pilot Program Will Spark Economic Development

MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin testified to the Senate Finance Committee in support of SB (CF HB 1455) - Economic Development - Makerspace Initiative Pilot Program. Last week, MACo testified before the House to support the cross-filed House Bill 1455. This bill creates a grant program to help counties, nonprofits, and other eligible applicants establish or expand makerspaces, which are spaces for community members to design, prototype, and manufacture items using tools that would otherwise…

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Counties Support Makerspace Pilot Program

MACo Associate Director Kevin Kinnally on Friday testified in support of HB 1455 (CF SB 826) - Makerspace Initiative Pilot Program before the House Ways and Means Committee. This bill creates a grant program to help counties, nonprofits, and other eligible applicants establish or expand makerspaces. Makerspaces provide the space and means for community members to design, prototype, and manufacture items using tools that would otherwise be inaccessible or unaffordable such as 3-D printers, digital…

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Counties Support Bid to Host FIFA 2026 World Cup

MACo Associate Director Kevin Kinnally submitted written testimony supporting House Joint Resolution 7 - 2026 FIFA World Cup - Protection of Human Rights. This joint resolution declares the General Assembly’s support for Maryland’s bid to host matches during the 2026 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup. Officially supporting the fundamental requirements for United 2026 as laid out in FIFA's "Proposal for a United Human Rights Strategy" would strengthen Maryland's application to host. Based…

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Baltimore County Announces Economic Development Advisory Board

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski last week issued an Executive Order to create the Baltimore County Economic Development Advisory Board, which will provide input and guidance to the administration on economic development, job creation, workforce development, tourism, arts and culture, and other aspects of the County’s economy. “Baltimore County is already an extraordinary place to do business, with one of the best-educated workforces in the country and over 21,000 diverse businesses. But we know we…

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MACo Supports Local Flexibility to Expand Community Solar, Opposes Broad Tax Exemptions

MACO Associate Director Kevin Kinnally testified before the Senate Budget and Taxation in support with amendments of SB 954 (CF HB 1106) - Property Tax - Solar Energy Systems. The bill designates certain solar energy property as a new subclass of personal property, authorizes local governments to impose a lower personal property tax rate on solar energy equipment, and generally grants broad tax exemptions for rooftop community solar energy generating systems. From MACo Testimony: MACo…

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MACo Defends Key Economic Development Programs

On February 12, 2020, MACo Associate Director Kevin Kinnally testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in opposition of HB 223 - End Ineffective Business Subsidies Act of 2020  and HB 565 - Income Tax – Business and Economic Development Tax Credits - Termination. These two bills are substantially the same - they would repeal the One Maryland Tax Credit, Enterprise Zone, and Focus Area/RISE programs - incentive programs designed to attract and retain…

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