“Delegate McDermott Proposes Several Business-Friendly Bills”
ANNAPOLIS – Four bills proposed during the 2014 legislative session by Delegate Mike McDermott (R-Worcester & Wicomico) will create a more business-friendly environment for the state of Maryland. Delegate McDermott, who represents the Lower Eastern Shore, is sponsoring several legislative bills aimed at making Maryland work for business.
“Maryland desperately needs legislation that will make it a more business friendly state. Our current business environment does not allow it to adequately compete with our neighboring states,” Delegate McDermott said of his proposed bills. “These laws will help out not only big business, but also small business owners, contractors, electricians and the like. We need to change the way we think about business in Maryland.”
McDermott’s “Truth in Permitting” bill restructures the way in which local government responds to proposed building and electrical permits. The current system in place doesn’t require the permit review board to specify why a particular permit was rejected, nor does it require the permit review board to review a permit within a “reasonable amount of time.” Delegate McDermott’s proposal will change this process and require the board to indicate exactly what is wrong with the proposed permit within a reasonable amount of time.
“There is a poor system in place today that often fails to tell a contractor what is wrong with their permit,” Delegate McDermott said. “This faulty process results in a back and forth between contractors and architects trying to identify the problem which is often omitted by those reviewing the permit. This adds to the time and money it takes business owners to have their permits approved often resulting in months of lost time.”
Additionally, House Bill 199, or the “Corporate Income Tax-Rate Reduction” bill, will reduce the corporate tax-rate from the current 8.25% to a lower 6%, helping corporations statewide. The reduction will give corporations in Maryland more breathing room, allowing them to operate more freely. It would provide a competitive response to surrounding states with lower rates and incentives.
Likewise, House Bill 26 will require agencies who are submitting regulations to also submit a fiscal impact statement. Currently, when an agency submits a regulation for review they do not have to assess the fiscal impact of that regulation. The bill will make sure that before any regulations are passed, lawmakers and Marylanders alike have a chance at analyzing how the regulation will impact the economy as well as the state’s budget. The impact of this bill is far reaching and will affect farmers and other businesses across Maryland.
Delegate McDermott’s fourth bill aimed at aiding business will alter the penalty process presently regulated by the Department of Labor and Licensing Regulations (“DLLR”). Currently, the DLLR penalizes small businesses for “non-serious violations” without first giving them a warning. Delegate McDermott’s bill, though, will make sure that a warning is first given for non-serious violations before the DLLR can fine the business owner.
“Maryland needs to be a more business-friendly state and it can start with this legislative year,” Delegate McDermott said. “We have a real opportunity here to do what’s right, to compete with our neighboring states, and to make Maryland a more prosperous, inviting state in which to do business.”