An Update from Your NFIB/Maryland State Director, Mike O'Halloran

Date: January 18, 2016 Last Edit: January 21, 2016

They’re back. For better or worse, the 2016 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly convened last Wednesday. What it means for your small business.

Dear NFIB/Maryland Members,

They’re back. For better or worse, the 2016 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly convened last Wednesday. For 90 days, Senators and Delegates will work with the Administration (or perhaps against it) to pass a balanced budget that funds education and state government. That is the only sure thing in what is looking to be a busy session.
Being the second year of the four-year term, freshmen legislators now have a session under their belt and will be eager to push their priorities; and as one Senator remarked, “spread their wings.” Your NFIB/Maryland team will be sure to work with any legislators looking to provide relief for the small business community. 
Governor Hogan announced his legislative wish list last week. Included is a reduction in the annual business filing fee. 
Small business owners would see a $50 reduction on the $300 filing fee for the next four years. The Administration also made an appeal to the manufacturing industry by calling for a ten year exemption to the state’s corporate income tax for new manufacturers in designated high unemployment areas, including Baltimore, Western Maryland, and the Eastern Shore. Employees who live in those zones and earning less than $65,000 at those jobs will pay no state income tax during those years. Legislative leaders were quick to question the state’s ability to pay for these incentives and whether it was the best target for state dollars.
There was also news from the Augustine Commission. A draft report obtained by media outlets showed the group – charged with suggesting ways to improve the business climate in Maryland – considered but ultimately rejected raising taxes on alcohol, gas, and tobacco as a way to make up for any lost revenue caused by tax relief measures.
As session slowly ramps up and bill hearings are scheduled, I will share with you the news of any legislation impacting the small business community. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about what you read here or in the newspaper. Your NFIB/Maryland team is happy to help in any way we can.
All the Best,
Mike O’Halloran
NFIB/Maryland State Director 

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