• Talbot County Chamber Position on HB 1628

    The Talbot County Chamber of Commerce, representing 700 diverse member businesses both large and small as well as nonprofit organizations, writes to express our concerns regarding House Bill 1628:  Sales- and-Use Tax, Rate reduction and Services. We believe that the bill proposed would have a costly and lasting negative effect on the State economy and Maryland businesses. The bill would also disincentivize businesses from starting or relocating to Maryland. For these reasons, the Talbot Chamber of Commerce is vehemently opposed to House Bill 1628.  
    We find the title of House Bill 1628 ironic considering that this proposed piece of legislation would lower the sales tax from 6% to 5% on a limited number of business categories while creating a huge expansion on services that have never been taxed such as:  legal services, accounting services, realtor services, home improvements, day care providers, and gym memberships, just to name a few.  The new tax is estimated to amount to $2.6 billion that Marylanders would have to pay and would constitute the largest single tax increase in Maryland History.
    Taxing services increases the potential for services and goods to be taxed more than once, which leads to higher consumer costs and inevitably further burdens the average taxpayer.  Taxing services for all types of business services negatively affects lower income individuals disproportionally.  In addition, taxing all types of business services puts Maryland at an economic disadvantage since none of our competitor states tax all services.  This legislation will discourage potential companies from relocating to Maryland because neighboring, competing states do not impose this additional burden on citizens and businesses. Moreover it will encourage some companies to leave Maryland.
    The Talbot County Chamber of Commerce recognizes the critical importance of educational funding, but imposing the Maryland sales tax on business services is not the solution.  We urge the Maryland Legislature to reject this burdensome legislation and work to find a better solution to educational funding for our community schools. We are willing and available to work with the legislature in developing a proper solution.
    Alan I. Silverstein, IOM
    President & CEO

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