Governor Hogan Signs 196 Bills into LawMaryland Governor Larry Hogan was joined by Senate President Mike Miller and Speaker of the House Michael Busch for a bill signing ceremony today at the State House in Annapolis, which included a number of bills aimed at improving Maryland’s business climate and reducing fees for Maryland taxpayers.
In total, the governor signed 196 bills into law.
“When I ran for governor, I said that Marylanders were overtaxed from cradle to grave, and that we were the only state to tax the rain. As of today, we are reducing two of those, and we have already repealed the other,” said Hogan. “I am pleased to sign bills today aimed at improving Maryland’s business climate and reducing fees for Maryland’s hardworking taxpayers. Thanks again to members of the legislature, and to our team, for making all this happen.”
Among the bills signed today was HB 459, which lowers the fee for certified copies of birth and death certificates from $24 to $10. These two fee reductions are part of a broader tax relief measure previously introduced by Governor Hogan during the 2016 legislative session, which, if it had passed in its entirety, would have saved Maryland taxpayers more than $480 million.
Additional bills signed today include:
SB 1007 – Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program and Trust: Establishes the Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program and Trust, which incentivizes private-sector employers to make the program available to their employees. Employers who participate in the program, or otherwise offer a retirement savings arrangement to their employees as specified in the bill, are exempt from the state’s $300 annual filing fee for corporations and business entities after the program becomes operational.
HB 422 – Interest Rate on Tax Deficiencies and Refunds: Reduces the annual interest rate on tax deficiencies and refunds, from the current rate of 13 percent to 9 percent by 2020. This step reduces the interest rate burden on taxpayers and the burden on the state to pay well above market rate on refunds that are owed.
HB 186 – Department of Veterans Affairs – Charlotte Hall Veterans Home Fund – Establishment: Establishes the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home Fund as a special non-lapsing fund to maintain the operation of the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, including staff salaries, benefits, physical improvements, and other operating expenses.
SB 245 – Labor and Employment – Hiring and Promotion Preferences – Veterans and Their Spouses: Authorizes employers to grant a preference in hiring and promotion to eligible veterans, spouses of eligible veterans who have service-connected disabilities, and surviving spouses of deceased eligible veterans, provided that granting a preference does not violate state or local equal employment opportunity laws.
HB 489 – Termination of Maryland Health Insurance Plan, Transfer of Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program, and Funding for State Reinsurance Program: Repeals the Maryland Health Insurance Plan (MHIP) and eliminates the assessment fee on hospital rates that was in place to pay for the operation and administration of the program. Individuals who used to be in the MHIP program are now eligible to get insurance through the Affordable Care Act, and the MHIP program is no longer necessary. Given this bill eliminates the hospital assessment that paid for the program, hospital rates will be lower for everyone who receives care at a hospital.
SB 1112 Income Tax – Aerospace, Electronics, or Defense Contract Tax Credit Program: Allows a qualified business entity operating a specified aerospace, electronics, or defense contract tax credit project to claim a credit against the state income tax.
For a complete list of the bills signed today, visit the state’s website, here.