Blog post by Kevin Rudolph
Kevin Rudolph serves as the Interim Manager of Government Affairs for the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. A policy wonk, he has spent years working at the state, local and federal levels of government in both staff and lobbying roles.
The Maryland Chamber has consistently been a strong voice for business throughout the halls of the Maryland General Assembly. With our partners in the legislature and executive departments, we have developed legislation that has led to increased economic growth and good paying jobs. We continue to oppose legislation that makes it harder to work and live in Maryland.
What we have seen over the past two years is the need to broaden our engagement in advocacy on a federal level. When the federal government acts, whether through the legislative process or executive authority, these decisions affect how Maryland lives and does business. While we were consistent in our support for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), without a state and local tax (SALT) deduction capitation and continue to oppose trade tariffs, we believe an increased presence at a higher level will have a positive impact in our state.
Many of these federal issues often have pressing consequences for Maryland, such as the TCJA legislation from late 2017. While we supported the need for comprehensive federal tax reform, we opposed the provision that capped SALT deductions at $10,000. With Maryland having one of the highest state and local tax rates in the country, this hurt Maryland especially in terms of its regional and national competitiveness.
In examining the current federal landscape, our upcoming priorities center around the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and making sure that this program is reauthorized and that meaningful reforms are made to improve this program. To read more about that click here. We are also advising our federal partners on some of the challenges cyber and IT companies face in the federal defense contracting space as they try to hire more non-traditional employees. Finally, we are increasing our involvement in federal tax policy.
Our priority, first and foremost, is to strengthen Maryland’s business community and increase the opportunities for business development and growth. Learn more about our legislative efforts and how to make your voice heard with the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.