Running Towards the Finish of the 2011 Session…

Posted Date: 
March 23, 2011

By Lisa Fadden
MCCC Vice-President, Public Affairs

As we approach the end of another legislative session, with three weeks left, we wanted to take some time to update you on the key priorities of the Chamber.  I’m only going to write today about our highest priorities, but please keep in mind that you can see all of the testimony we have written this session by clicking HERE.

Continuing Our Push for Transportation Funding

This session, Senator Rob Garagiola and Delegate Bill Frick sponsored a bill that would have raised approximately $450 million for the Transportation Trust Fund and would have secured those dollars in the trust fund so that the money could not be used for other purposes.  The state’s trust fund has been depleted and the Blue Ribbon Commission on transportation funding estimated that there is a need for a least $800 million in new revenues annually for transportation.  The gas tax, which is the single largest source of revenue for the trust fund, hasn’t been raised since 1992.

The Chamber helped to initiate this effort and is very supportive of this legislation.  Unfortunately, events around the world have again reminded us how volatile the price of gasoline is, and how difficult it is to build support for a tax increase in this kind of environment. While we have faced challenges in getting this package passed this session, our advocacy and that of our colleagues in the business community has had a real impact, and we believe the legislature will tackle this very urgent problem in the near term.

Shielding Against Negative Corporate Tax Changes

As is the case each session, several bills have been introduced related to changes to the corporate income tax and the individual income tax that would negatively impact Maryland’s competitiveness.

Bills that have been introduced this session include combined reporting, which MCCC has opposed each year that it has been introduced, a new bill to introduce “throwback” in Maryland, which would negatively impact our local manufacturers, as well as a corporate alternative minimum tax. 

In addition, bills have been introduced to extend the “millionaire’s tax”, which reached its sunset on December 31, 2010.  The imposition of this tax had a negative impact on both State and County revenues and we urged the legislature not to continue this policy.

We are optimistic that in this very fragile economic recovery, the legislature will not extend this tax, but anticipate that there will continue to be a discussion around tax rates for high income earners.

Working to Pass an ‘Invest Maryland’ Bill That Works

This year, one of the Governor’s top priorities is the Invest Maryland program.  As written, the program would create a $100 million pool of capital, half of which would go to government programs that invest in early stage companies and the other half would go to private venture capital firms.  We are optimistic that this program could have a positive impact on Maryland’s technology companies and are working to make some key changes to the bill that would ensure that the money is used in a way that stimulates real job growth and attracts long-term, sustainable investment.

We’ll continue to keep you posted as session winds down.  As always, if you have any questions at all, please email me at or call (240) 403 3505.

MCCC Strategic Partners