For immediate release:
January 12, 2016

Hannah Marr
Shareese Churchill

Governor Hogan Introduces Over $480 Million in Tax Relief Measures

New Policy Reduces Corporate Tax to Zero for New Manufacturers in Maryland While Vital Tax Relief Measures Focus on Retirees, Small Businesses and Working Families

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today introduced a number of vital statewide tax relief measures aimed at retirees, small businesses, working families, and manufacturers – four groups that have been among the hardest hit by the tax increases of the last decade.

The introduction of the governor’s tax relief package for the 2016 Legislative Session reflects the administration’s focus on rolling back as many of Maryland’s tax and fee increases as possible, returning dollars to families and small businesses. Since taking office nearly one year ago, the Hogan administration has presided over a series of tax and fee cuts across state government, including a $270 million toll rollback announced in May 2015.

“The proposals we are announcing today will deliver an additional $480 million in tax relief to those Marylanders who desperately need it most, and will put our administration on track to provide more than $1 billion in tax relief to people all across the state of Maryland,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Reducing and eliminating taxes, tolls, and fees will not only help to create efficiencies and streamline state government – it also has a direct, dramatic, and positive impact on our state economy and the livelihoods of Maryland’s retirees, working families, and small businesses.”

The new tax relief proposal, to be introduced by the administration in the upcoming session, will include the following:

Seniors Tax Relief

Following last year’s passage of a retirement income exclusion for military veterans over the age of 65, the Hogan administration will introduce new legislation to extend the same tax relief to all retirees in Maryland.

Current law allows Marylanders aged 65 and older to claim a personal exemption of $1,000 in addition to any other personal exemption to which they may be entitled.

The administration’s proposed legislation would phase in an increase of the personal exemption for seniors to $5,000 over four years.

This proposal would benefit approximately 640,000 seniors, returning approximately $183 million to taxpayers over the next five years.
Working Families – Refundable EITC Increase

The administration’s second proposal will help 170,000 Maryland families across the state by accelerating the increase of the state refundable Earned Income Tax Credit.

Under this proposal, Maryland families earning less than $53,000 per year will save a cumulative $27 million over the next two years.

Statutory Fee Rollback

The Hogan administration will propose in an omnibus bill a range of fee reductions across state government, reducing or eliminating the cost associated with a variety of permits, applications, and services. This legislation follows executive action taken by the administration in 2015 to reduce or eliminate over 100 non-statutory fees, saving taxpayers approximately $51 million.

These new fee reductions will result in an estimated $71 million in tax reductions to taxpayers over the next five years.

Business Filing Fee Reduction

To enhance Maryland’s business climate, the Hogan administration will propose a reduction in the current $300 business filing fee paid annually to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, by $50 a year for four years. This proposal will benefit approximately 300,000 businesses, and will have a disproportionate impact on small businesses, eventually returning $164 million to taxpayers over the next five years.

Manufacturing Jobs Initiative

In response to the decline in manufacturing in Maryland in recent years, and to boost employment in regions hardest hit by the departure of manufacturing jobs, Governor Hogan will introduce new legislation designed to make Maryland a more attractive place for manufacturers to locate new factories.

This legislation will:

Eliminate the state corporate income tax for a period of 10 years on new manufacturers in areas designated as Empowerment Zones, or areas where unemployment is highest.

Empowerment Zones will include Western Maryland, the lower Eastern Shore, and Baltimore City.

Individuals who earn less than $65,000 per year and are employed by new manufacturers in Empowerment Zones will pay no state income taxes.