(March 27, 2018–ANNAPOLIS, Md.)–First: Let’s come to unanimous decision to be done with winter. All in favor?
Easiest vote of the session.
Thursday’s 1 p.m. docket in Senate Finance sees a hearing on HB 1372, which would prohibit a consumer contract for more than a 12-month renewal term under certain circumstances and require certain salespersons or lessors to disclose contract renewal information as prescribed. The bill makes violation an unfair or deceptive trade practice under the Maryland Consumer Protection Act. This will be the bill’s first hearing in the Senate. We oppose it because of the mandates and increased penalties, just as we did last year.
SB 134 and SB 180 have cross-file hearings in House Ways and Means at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Although the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee’s amendments reduced the size of the break in SB 134, this bill will still provide a tax credit to small businesses that offer certain employer-sponsored benefits. These benefits include paid time off, transportation fringes, dependent care assistance, educational assistance and health savings account (HSA) contributions. We supported it.
SB 180 passed the Senate unanimously without amendment. This bill would provide tax credits for small businesses located in certain areas who hire at least one employee for at least six months. We supported the bill, testifying at the table that all Marylanders benefit when small businesses have incentives to expand their workforces.
Due to federal changes to the tax code, the state predicts 750,000 Marylanders will shift from using the itemized deduction to using the standard deduction when they file their taxes. To ease potential burdens to these tax changes, the legislature is moving SB 318, which would increase the standard deduction from $2,000 to $2,500 for individuals, and $4,000 to $5,000 for families.
And a reminder: Your own organization can use the template announcement about how taxes are handled per paycheck. All you have to do is input the information in the highlighted sections. Take a look at our resource links on mdchamber.org and click on the top one, for federal withholding tables.
Mdchamber.org is also where you can find more on the bills we’ve advocated on this session. Members can log in to see testimony, as well.
If you have a specific question on a bill or issue that affects you or your business, please contact us. If you’re mostly just hanging on for Opening Day, please contact the Orioles’ home office.
First pitch is Thursday for the O’s. Last pitch for the session is in less than two weeks. Win, lose, or rainout, we hope you will join us to celebrate the good bills that passed and the bad bills that failed at our Open House & Sine Die Celebration. It’s proof you can still have fun in the name of government.
Thanks, as always, for your partnership. Your voice matters in Annapolis and all across Maryland, and we appreciate you trusting us with it.