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More coronavirus-related economic relief might be on way for Maryland residents and businesses if Gov. Larry Hogan gets his way.

Gov. Hogan has proposed a $1 billion COVID-19 relief package that includes direct stimulus payments to low- to moderate-income Marylanders and tax relief for small businesses. Hogan said the proposal would be introduced as emergency legislation as soon as Maryland’s General Assembly opens its 2021 legislative session on Jan. 13.

“With the start of a new 2021 legislative session, we are now asking the legislative branch to assist by immediately passing this stimulus and tax relief package to help even more struggling families and small businesses across our state,” said Gov. Hogan.

The proposed bill would include the following:

Direct stimulus payments
The bill calls for immediate stimulus payments of $500 for families and $300 for individuals who filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit. A second round of payments would follow, providing an additional $250 for eligible families and $150 for individuals.

The two rounds of payments will provide $267 million in relief for about 400,000 Marylanders.

Marylanders who meet the following income thresholds will qualify for the direct payments:

  • $50,954 ($56,844 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children.
  • $47,440 ($53,330 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children.
  • $41,756 ($47,646 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child.
  • $15,820 ($21,710 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children.

Sales tax credits for small businesses
The proposed bill calls for sales tax credits for small businesses of up to $3,000 per month for four months.

The relief would be automatic and based on a sliding scale up to $3,000. For example, if you are a business with $100,000 in monthly revenue and you collect $6,000 in sales taxes, you remit only $3,000. If you have $50,000 in monthly revenue and you collect $3,000 in sales taxes, you keep all $3,000.

In addition, the bill would:

  • Repeal state and local income taxes on unemployment benefits.
  • Safeguard Maryland businesses against any tax increase triggered by the use of state loan or grant funds.

The bill would be funded through a variety of sources, including leftover surplus from fiscal year 2020 and budgetary actions taken by the state’s Board of Public Works.

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