- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday introduced a plan to eliminate “burdensome” personal property taxes on small businesses make Maryland more attractive to businesses and investors.

Mr. Hogan told members of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) that the new bill introduced in the state House of Delegates follows through on his commitment to make the state a better place to do business.

“This is a burdensome tax that clearly discourages the creation of new businesses and drives existing businesses out of state,” Mr. Hogan said. “This is a first, but important, step in recognizing the critical role small businesses play in creating jobs and growing our state’s economy.”

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The proposed bill would eliminate the personal property tax for businesses that have less than $10,000 in personal property.

Mr. Hogan, a surprise winner in the heavily Democratic state in November’s midterm vote, said during his first State of the State address, that too many Maryland residents and businesses are relocating to states with lower tax burdens.

“We’ve had the largest mass exodus of taxpayers fleeing our state, of any state in our region and one of the worst in the nation,” he said.

The specter of high taxes and strict regulations are driving businesses — both large and small — out of Maryland, Mr. Hogan argued.

The total number of Fortune 500 companies in Maryland has inched downward over the last 10 years to four. By contrast, New Jersey has 14, Pennsylvania has 14, and arch-rival Virginia has 24 such firms based in their state.

The tax cuts face an uncertain future in the Democratic-dominated state legislature, but one of the state’s leading business groups quickly embraced the governor’s plan.

“We are excited about [this bill] and other efforts that Gov. Hogan is championing as part of his commitment to make Maryland more business- friendly,” said Brian Poffenberger, president of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.



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