Maryland House of Delegates lawmakers presented a tax relief package Friday. It would provide $300 million in tax relief over five years for working families and middle-class families. This includes reducing the state’s sales taxes on products like diapers and car seats, and other care products such as diabetic care.
Adrienne Jones, House Speaker, made the announcement along with other House leaders as well as delegates who are supporting the legislation. According to the speaker, families still struggle to make ends meets and pay for basic necessities despite federal assistance being provided to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jones, a Baltimore County Democrat, stated that as the cost of basic goods rises, it is becoming more difficult for working families to keep up with rising prices. “It is clear that any extra money we can put into the pockets of struggling Marylanders, and boost their budgets, makes a big difference.”
One measure would exempt baby products such as diapers, car seats, and bottles from the state’s 6.6% sales tax. Another proposal exempts toothpaste and toothbrushes from the sales tax.
A separate bill in the package would exempt diabetic care products from sales tax.
Del. stated that “Cutting the sales taxes on medical devices, diabetic care products and home health products will give Marylanders with fixed incomes and those who provide home care to their family members critical relief on products which can be very expensive.” Vanessa Atterbeary is a Howard County Democrat and chaired the House Ways and Means Committee.
Del. Montgomery County Democrat Eric Luedtke is sponsoring a bill that creates a state match for the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit to employers who hire or retain workers from underrepresented groups who are consistently in need of job opportunities.
Targeted groups for credit include veterans, those who have received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits, persons experiencing long-term unemployment, and residents who are vocationally rehabilitation certified with a mental or physical disability.
Luedtke (House majority leader) stated that the program has been proven to end the cycle of unemployment.
All would be eligible for the sales tax exemptions that would be permanent under the legislation. The tax credit for work opportunities would be available in tax years 2022 to 2028.