Delegates Call for Multi-State Plan to End Corporate Giveaways

    Del. Vaughn Stewart (D-Montgomery). Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

    A group of progressive Democrats in Maryland joined colleagues across the country in introducing legislation that would create a multi-state compact to end corporate tax breaks aimed at getting businesses to move across state lines.

    The proposal ― dubbed the Phase Out Company Giveaways Act by supporters ― seeks to end subsidy battles like the one created last year by Amazon’s announcement that it was building a second headquarters.

    The Maryland bill was sponsored by Del. Vaughn Stewart (D-Montgomery) and co-sponsored by Dels. Gabriel Acevero (D-Montgomery), Regina T. Boyce (D-Baltimore City), Mary A. Lehman (D-Prince George’s), Robbyn T. Lewis (D-Baltimore City), David Moon (D-Montgomery), Julie Palakovich Carr (D-Montgomery), and Jared Solomon (D-Montgomery).

    As of Tuesday, the legislation is filed in seven states: Maryland, New York, Hawaii, Florida, Illinois, West Virginia and New Hampshire.

    If passed, states that join the compact would enter into a formal agreement to end the practice of offering tax breaks to a facility located in another member state as an inducement to the company to move.

    “The research is clear: Corporate giveaways do not benefit the communities that offer them, the small businesses who compete on an unequal playing field, or the taxpayers who foot the bill. The only winners are massive corporations and politicians who take credit for job creation at ribbon-cutting ceremonies,” Stewart said in a statement. “This interstate compact is a first step toward reversing a decades-long race to the bottom that has redistributed wealth from working families to multinational corporations.”

    The bill will be heard in the House Ways and Means Committee on Feb. 13.

    On Wednesday, the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee will consider a series of tax proposals, including three measures that are part of a package from the Maryland Fair Funding Coalition to cover costs of the Kirwan Commission education reform proposals.

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    Danielle E. Gaines
    Danielle Gaines covered government and politics for Maryland Matters for two years before moving into an editing position. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post ― as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at The Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.