Calvert legislators plan for 2018 session spotlight gasset y ortega biografia


Clark has already pre-filed two bills. His first bill seeks to repeal the $100 fee charged by the state’s Department of Taxation and Assessments to process the dissolution of a business. Clark introduced the bill last session, but it received an unfavorable report by the Economic Matters Committee. Del. Mark Fisher (R–Calvert) is cosponsoring the bill with Clark this year.

Clark’s second pre-filed bill gives relief to firefighters on their income taxes by changing the amount of a subtraction modification under the Maryland income tax for certain qualifying volunteer fire, rescue and emergency medical services members.

Fisher has also pre-filed, as a co-sponsor with Del. Deb Rey (R–St. Mary’s), a firearms bill that will authorize a person to apply for preliminary approval of a handgun permit without completing a certain firearm training requirement and require the secretary to state police to issue preliminary approval for a handgun permit if the applicant meets certain requirements.

“It makes sense that the state stands in and not have this weigh on the counties. We can work on coming up with an agreement that any combined service anywhere in the state of Maryland should be attributable to the 25-year service,” Jackson explained.

“One is the conservation preservation easement bill, which allows farmers to maintain the esthetics of a farm, not necessarily have to sell any or all of their property to a developer, and this would give them a tax incentive,” Jackson said. “Agriculture is the biggest business in Maryland.”

Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s) said the legislature needs to continue to create jobs in urban and rural areas, find funding for the Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge replacement and ensure no “undue regulations” are put on the farming community.

Sen. Steve Waugh (R-Calvert, St. Mary’s) plans to draft at least two dozen bills this session to include senate scholarships for vocational schools and a bill to give an economic boost to the burgeoning distillery industry. He is also resubmitting bills from prior years.

One of those bills is to restore Highway User Revenues, funds collected from the gas tax, to previous levels for distribution to the counties for paving projects, county road repairs and maintenance. Jackson also plans to push for HUR restoration, which he says impacts every jurisdiction.

“It’s going to be challenging because we are starting with a $50 million deficit. It’s going to get worse because of what is happening on Capitol Hill. It’s going to be devastating to Maryland,” Miller said, referring to the new federal tax law that includes a $10,000 limit on the amount of property, state and local income taxes that are deductible.

“Of Maryland’s 6 million people, there were 1.3 million returns that claimed $16.5 billion in deductions. If they are eliminated, that means that tax bills are going up 13 percent to people in Maryland,” Miller said. “To take away this deduction for people who have relied upon and depended upon it is criminal.”

Miller said he is also concerned about the financial impact of the federal tax law’s removal of the Affordable Care Act mandate, which required Americans to have health care or pay a tax fine. Miller said Maryland is going to lose a billion dollars in federal funding.

Waugh, who is one of the members of the commission, said there are nine separate areas that have massive policy impacts. During session, there will be information briefs to the entire legislature. “We have a lot of really good ideas. The real challenge is that unfortunately good ideas cost money,” Waugh said, expecting a cost estimate toward the end of session. “There’s plenty of big muscle movement on education this year.”