Corporate tax cut draws support in Maryland House -- Gazette.Net


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A measure to cut the corporate income tax rate has not drawn much support in the Maryland Senate, but a companion bill in the House has 27 co-sponsors.

The proposal, sponsored by Del. Kelly Schulz (R-Dist. 4A) of New Market, would reduce the state corporate income tax rate to 6 percent as of July from 8.25 percent. That would reduce state funds by $381 million in fiscal 2014 and $313 million in fiscal 2015, according to a state legislative analysis.

The bill is due for a hearing at 1 p.m. Feb. 26 in the House Ways and Means Committee.

Having a corporate income tax rate higher than states such as Virginia and North Carolina that compete for jobs lowers Maryland’s ability to create more business investment and private-sector jobs, said Mathew J. Palmer, senior vice president of government affairs for the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber favors a phased plan, reducing the corporate income tax by 0.25 percentage point each year for five years, until it reaches 7 percent, he said.

“Phasing in a reduction of the corporate income tax would send a strong signal to corporations here and beyond that Maryland is serious about becoming a national and global leader in job creation,” Palmer said.

Sen. David R. Brinkley (R-Dist. 4) of New Market authored a similar bill, which had a hearing a few weeks ago. It has yet to attract another sponsor, as of Thursday.

Jury duty proposal hearing

Legislation that would require Maryland employers with 10 or more employees to pay them for time spent on jury duty will have a hearing at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill sponsored by Del. Cheryl Glenn (D-Dist. 45) of Baltimore would mandate that employers pay employees their average daily compensation, minus what the government entity pays.

The Maryland chamber opposes the measure, saying in a position statement that employers should not be mandated to pay an employee for a government action. A similar proposal did not pass two years ago.

Combined reporting bill filed

Legislation to impose a system of mandatory unitary combined reporting for corporate income taxes has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Paul Pinsky (D-Dist. 22) of University Park and in the House by Del. Eric Luedtke (D-Dist. 14) of Burtonsville.

The measure has attracted 17 co-sponsors in the Senate and 13 in the House. Hearings are scheduled in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee at 1 p.m. March 5 and in the House Ways and Means Committee at 1 p.m. March 8.

The Maryland chamber and other business groups oppose the proposal, as they have in past years.

“It would cause huge tax shifts among corporations, complicate tax compliance and make Maryland less competitive,” Palmer said.

Similar legislation was rejected, 7-6, in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee last year.

kshay@gazette.net