By Rohan Mattu

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday announced proposals for a major tax cut and for extending pandemic-era economic initiatives that he says would bring $4.6 billion in relief for Marylanders and businesses.

Hogan announced his intention to use Maryland’s $2.5 billion budget surplus for direct tax relief for working and retired Marylanders in October. On Monday he proposed the Retirement Tax Reduction Act and the Working Marylanders Tax Relief Act.

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The Retirement Tax Reduction Act

The governor in October described tax relief for retirees as a priority — and the only way to keep them from leaving Maryland for states with lower taxes.

The Retirement Tax Reduction Act, Hogan said, would eventually eliminate 100% of all state retirement taxes for all retirees. It would be phased in over a period of time beginning this year, should the legislation support it.

“Each year when I proposed it, [the legislature] almost immediately reject it out of hand,” Hogan said. “And they always have a similar response. They say we just can’t afford it. Well, with our increased revenue record surplus and our growing economy, our fiscal health is now stronger than ever before. So we can afford it and we must do it. What we cannot afford is continuing to lose more retirees year after year.”

The Working Marylanders Tax Relief Act

The Working Marylanders Tax Relief Act would make the earned income tax credit from the 2021 RELIEF Act permanent. The income tax credit included $750 for families who applied for the Earned Income Tax Credit and $450 for individuals.

Hogan said it would provide working Marylanders with another $650 in tax relief.

“This was one of the most successful for the provisions of the RELIEF Act,” Hogan said. “It was passed nearly unanimously and with but with the support from Democrats and Republicans and hardworking families should not have to worry that this critical tax relief is going to be taken away from them.

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More Jobs For Marylanders Act 3.0 

The More Jobs for Marylanders Act, enacted in 2017 and then expanded again in 2019, incentivizes and encourages manufacturers and other businesses to create more jobs in the state by

“The results of the More Jobs for Marylanders initiative speak for itself,” Hogan said. “Maryland is no longer losing manufacturing jobs. We’re adding them. We went from being 50th in America to adding more manufacturing jobs over the last five years than 39 other states.”

 Project Restore Act

Hogan also announced the Project Restore Act of 2022, which would codify Project Restore. Hogan said the program, which awards grants to businesses in small towns and main streets, is one of the most successful COVID-19 recovery initiatives.

“This bill will allow us to drive even more jobs and investments to our small towns and main streets for years to come,” Hogan said.

The announcement comes just as lawmakers are about to return for the 2022 legislative session.

Hogan has been making public his legislative priorities this week. On Monday, he announced a plan to expand his “re-fund the police” program by re-introducing two anti-crime measures that he previously tried and failed to get through the legislature.

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