From the halls: Death and taxes. And the internet.

As the push for $15 minimum wage continues, the Senate Finance Committee takes up three minimum wage bills on Thursday. Hearings begin at 1 p.m.

If you have provided us with information about how a $15 minimum wage would impact you and your staff, you have already made a difference this legislative session. We testified on House Bill 664 – the most significant of the minimum wage bills – late last week. We argued that subjecting businesses to such a wage would cause hour, benefit, and position reduction. We also testified that it would artificially alter the price of labor, increasing the price of goods and services.

We have talked with the leadership of the House Economic Matters Committee, and they have understood your concerns. Your real-world examples made an impact during testimony. Now we await their vote.

Death and taxes… and the internet

We’re on the record:

SB 561 would reverse the decoupling of the Maryland estate tax from federal law and leave the exclusion at $1 million for estates in deaths occurring on or after June 1, 2018. Nearby states have realized this puts a strain on families and small businesses. In order to keep more families in Maryland, we oppose the bill.

HB 818 would reduce the corporate income tax rate from its current level of 8.25 percent to 6 percent over the next nine years. Reducing the corporate income tax rate would make Maryland more competitive within the region. Our main competitor to the south – Virginia – has a corporate income tax rate of 6 percent. Surprise – we support this one.

SB 287 would prohibit internet service providers (ISPs) from winning state grants or contracts to procure services unless they agree not to block certain content applications or services, and not to impair or degrade certain internet traffic. The concern here is that any attempt to regulate the internet on a state-by-state basis would create a patchwork of laws and regulations that would harm businesses’ abilities to effectively operate across state lines. This would heavily discourage investment in the state. That’s why we oppose it.

Ah, election years…

By the weekend, we will be two-thirds of the way through the 2018 session. There can be no more bills submitted without a suspension of rules. As of Monday, there were 3,038 bills and 26 joint resolutions in the works. That’s 177 more bills and seven more resolutions than the entirety of the 2017 session.

If you have questions or want to share how something affects you, contact us.

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