Utah to Repeal Controversial Law That Raised Taxes on Food, Gas, and Services

Facing a successful voter referendum drive to undo a tax reform package passed last December, Utah lawmakers last week announced that they will repeal the unpopular attempt to rebalance state revenues by reducing income taxes and raising sales taxes on food, gasoline, and certain services. The legislation would have effectively shifted roughly half a billion dollars of state revenue away from income taxes — which are earmarked for education — and toward the unrestricted General Fund.…

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MACo Opposes Overly-Broad Tax, Fee Exemptions

MACo Associate Director Kevin Kinnally testified today, January 22, before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee to oppose SB 109 - Disabled Active Duty Service Members, Disabled Veterans, and Surviving Spouses - Exemption From Property Tax and Other Charges and Refunds. MACo is concerned with the carryover county fiscal effects of this legislation and would prefer approaches that provide local autonomy to determine the best way to provide these incentives, rather than those that mandate…

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Delegate Floats Idea: School Taxes in Maryland?

During a House Ways and Means briefing, a leadership Delegate asked, and mused, about the potential to grant local Boards of Education independent taxing authority. January 20 was "Local Government Day" in the House Ways and Means Committee - featuring a technical but informative set of presentations by legislative staff, MACo, and the Maryland Municipal League. See Conduit Street coverage of the MACo briefing. As MACo's presentation on county priorities wrapped, Committee members asked various…

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MACo to Ways and Means Committee: Prioritize Schools, Behavioral Health, Local Decision-Making

MACo’s 2020 President, Baltimore City Council Member Sharon Green Middleton, First Vice President, Caroline County Commissioner Wilbur Levengood, Chair of MACo's Education Subcommittee, Montgomery County Council Member Craig Rice, and MACo Associate Director Kevin Kinnally today presented MACo’s 2020 Legislative Initiatives to the House Ways and Means Committee. The MACo panel followed the Department of Legislative Services’ analysts, who presented the annual Overview of State Aid to Local Governments. Substance use disorders and mental illness…

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Fiscal Briefing Highlights Budget Big Picture

The Department of Legislative Services (DLS) today presented its annual fiscal briefing to the General Assembly budget committees. This briefing provides a comprehensive overview of the Governor’s proposed FY 2021 operating and capital budgets, aid to local governments, and the State’s economic and revenue outlook. The Quick Look at Fiscal 2021 Budget shows that the Governor’s proposed budget leaves a general fund balance of $414.4 million at the end of FY 2020 and $108.5 million at…

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Governor Hogan Proposes $1 Billion Tax Cut for Retirees

Governor Larry Hogan yesterday unveiled a proposal to cut taxes for retirees by more than $1 billion over the next five years. “People who have been lifelong Marylanders and have contributed so much, and still have more to offer, are moving to other states for one reason—our state’s sky-high retirement taxes,” said Governor Hogan. The bill would eliminate all state tax on the first $50,000 of income for retirees making up to $100,000 in federally…

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General Assembly Will Again Consider Carbon Tax

The Maryland General Assembly will again consider legislation that adds a tax on greenhouse gas emissions with a goal of zero emissions by 2040. The bill sponsors say Marylanders are already paying for pollution through costs associated with damage to public health and the environment.  “Our Children’s Future Act” will be introduced by Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo and Senator Kramer during the 2020 session. This will be the third time carbon tax legislation is introduced in the…

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New Jersey Enacts SALT Cap Workaround for Small Businesses

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation Monday giving small businesses in the Garden State a workaround for the cap on state and local tax deductions (SALT) under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) -- the 2017 federal tax overhaul that capped SALT deductions at $10,000 – a move of particular import in states like Maryland. This bill permits pass-through businesses, including S corporations, limited liability corporations, and other business partnerships, to shift the…

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