MARYLAND (WDVM) — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced the RELIEF Act, a billion-dollar economic relief package for Marylanders and small businesses in a press conference Monday morning. The package includes direct stimulus payments and tax relief funding for residents and small businesses.
Hogan said he will present the RELIEF Act as emergency legislation at the start of the 2021 legislative session on Wednesday. If the act is passed, Hogan will sign it into law immediately to greenlight the funding.
Hogan announced that $267 million in direct stimulus payments can be distributed to Marylanders who filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Total benefits could add up to $750 for families and $450 for individuals. At least 400,000 Marylanders are eligible for the direct stimulus, and no application is required.
To assist 55,000 small businesses, $300 million of the act is allocated to tax relief, allowing businesses to keep up to $12,000 in sales tax over the next four months.
- Repeals all state and local income taxes on unemployment benefits, providing further support and assistance for Marylanders who have lost their jobs. ($180 million)
- Supports small businesses with sales tax credits of up to $3,000 per month for four months— for a total of up to $12,000—freeing-up much-needed resources to protect payrolls and sustain operations. This relief will directly help more than 55,000 Maryland small businesses. ($300 million)
- Extends unemployment tax relief for small businesses, staving off sudden and substantial tax hikes in 2021. This provision codifies an emergency order the governor issued last month. ($218 million)
- Safeguards Maryland businesses against any tax increase triggered by the use of state loan or grant funds. ($40 million)
“All of this targeted relief will help businesses keep their doors open and keep their employees on the payroll,” said Hogan.
Governor Hogan said most of the funding comes from budget cuts made at the Board of Public Works. Hogan says the act is also funded by Maryland’s reserve fund and $100 million from the state’s rainy day fund.
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This is a developing story and will be updated.