On June 2, U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) introduced the 21st Century Investment Act of 2017 in the House of Representatives. The goal of the legislation is to provide incentives for businesses to manufacture goods domestically and tax credit for research and development (R&D). The bill is expected to encourage local investment and create economic and job growth through a tax credit of 25 percent and tax reduction of 15 percent, according to the press release.

On June 2, U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown introduced legislation to incentivize domestic manufacturing and research and development. (Courtesy photo)

“By incentivizing companies to conduct R&D efforts in America, we create good-paying jobs, catalyze production, and support business,” Brown said in a statement. Brown represents Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, which includes Prince George’s County and parts of Anne Arundel County.

Brown met with local manufacturers and organizations like the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce and the Maryland Department of Commerce to discuss tax incentives within the manufacturing sector of the state. David Harrington, president and CEO of the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce, said he supports the legislation and hopes the bill brings manufacturers into Prince George’s County.

“It presents a friendly climate for Prince George’s County so that whether or not the legislation will lure in manufacturers is unknown but what it can certainly do is help say ‘Wow, your county is interested.’ It would have people take a look at us,” Harrington told the AFRO.

According to Harrington, 70 percent of Prince George’s County residents work outside of the county. He believes the bill can help people work inside the county instead. “If Maryland and the rest of the United States wants to continue to compete on a global stage and lead the 21st century economy, we must address yawning gaps in workforce development,” said Brown. “There are firms across the country desperately in need of staff with the proper skills; we need to ensure the next wave of the American workforce is ready to fill those positions. Providing this tax credit to employers creates good paying, family-supporting jobs that people can depend on.”

According to the press release, Maryland already has two state R&D credits. “We are optimistic that as Congress considers comprehensive tax reform, the provisions of our bill to incentivize R&D and domestic manufacturing will be part of the conversation and will be included in the legislation brought to a vote,” Matthew Verghese, communications director for Rep. Brown, told the AFRO in an email June 6. “Republicans and Democrats have long supported the research credit, and promoting American manufacturing is a priority of the current Administration. In the coming months, we hope to find common ground in our effort to support local businesses and local workers.”

The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline, (D-R.I.), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D- Md.), Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.), and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton. The bill has been sent to the House Committee on Ways and Means.