(9/1) As a citizen of Frederick for the last decade, I have had numerous conversations on the best way to bring more business to Maryland. I have weighed arguments about tax rates, infrastructure, public education and other ways to incentivize businesses in Maryland. While I am a staunch advocate in areas like infrastructure development and public education, I
believe there is room for utilizing our tax rates to entice high tech, high paying and environmentally friendly businesses to Maryland.
I believe larger companies need to be given incentives to build business in Maryland. I propose a three-year waiver of all corporate and property taxes to any business agreeing to develop in Maryland for a minimum of twenty-five years. After the three-year waiver, taxes would increase at a rate of 2 % each year until they reach the stateís corporate tax rate.
Companies taking advantage of this program will be under strict guidelines. If a company chooses to back out of their end of the bargain, such as moving out of the state of Maryland, the company will have to pay back all the tax incentives they received.
I also favor a comprehensive corporate tax relief plan for small businesses. These businesses are the economic engine of our state. Businesses meeting certain employment growth targets should receive a reduction in the corporate tax rate.
The increase in employment across the state will strengthen economic activity creating a budget neutral incentive program investing in Maryland and Frederickís future.
States around the nation are successfully experimenting with innovative methods to attract business. Maryland could benefit from such innovation; but we must be smart about it. We should avoid across-the-board corporate tax giveaways and incentives must be structured in a way that the public derives tangible benefits in return. As we invest in a better business climate,
Marylandís return on that investment will come in the form of dollars and jobs, not just a "thank you" and a pat on the back.
There are many reasons why Maryland does so well economically. Among these is our proximity to the nationís capital and Maryland has one of the best educated populations in the United States. Businesses already see the value of being part of the prosperity of Maryland. As we craft incentives to add attraction for businesses to move to Maryland we need to keep a multi-layered
approach, attacking the issue from a number of different avenues including tax incentives.