It’s expected help Maryland residents and small businesses get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Annapolis, Md (KM) With legislative leaders looking on, Governor Larry Hogan on Monday signed the $1-billion RELIEF Act into law.
The measure provides direct stimulus relief for low to moderator income Marylanders, with immediate payments of $500 for families, and $300 for individuals who filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit. It also enhances the Earned Income Tax Credit for those same Marylanders by an estimated $478-million over the next three years. The Legislation also repeals all state and local income taxes on unemployment benefits for the tax years 2020 and 2021.
For small businesses, the RELIEF Act make a $200-million commitment to support small businesses with sales tax credits up to $3,000 per month for three months. There’s also unemployment tax relief for small businesses, and COVID-19 loans and grant forgiveness.
“The RELIEF Act offers a real lifeline for those hardest hit. People who are struggling to get by, and small businesses desperately trying to stay afloat,” Governor Hogan said during the bill signing ceremony.
He also praised the bipartisanship that helped get this legislation through the General Assembly. “It’s almost unheard of for any major piece of legislation to pass in such a short period of time, and with such universal bipartisan support,” he said.
That bipartisanship was further emphasized by House Speaker Adrienne Jones, who attended the bill signing. “This bill that got passed is not a Democrat bill; it’s not a Republican bill. It’s a bill for the people that all of us her represent,”: she said.
Similar comments were echoed by Senate President Bill Ferguson. “This is an important day. It’s a day when we get to show the people the best of our politics and what we have to offer when we focus on results,” he said. “In less than three weeks, this bill made its way through both chambers with a variety of improvements and back to the Governor’s desk for his signature.”
In his comments, Governor Hogan said “we face a long and difficult year ahead, and many Maryhlanders are still in need.” But he pointed out that t the vaccination rate is increasing every day and the COVID-19 key health metrics are declining. . With the signing of the RELIEF Act, “even more tax relief and economic stimulus help is on the way to our struggling families and small businesses.”
Also on hand for the bill signing were Senate Minority Leader Bryan Simonaire, House Majority Leader Erick Luedkite, House Minority Leader Nick Kipke and Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Chairman Guy Guzzone.
By Kevin McManus