(ROCKVILLE, MD) January 14, 2008 The Tech Council of Maryland (TCM) released its 2008 Policy Platform. The Platform outlines TCM's policy priorities for 2008 in the following areas: (1) advanced technology; (2) biotechnology; (3) higher education; (4) transportation; (5) tax climate; and (6) workforce development. The Platform lists specific priorities that TCM wants to accomplish during the 2008 legislative session and beyond. This year, the Platform lists its top priorities, most notably the repeal of the 6% sales and use tax on computer services in Maryland.
"TCM's 2008 Policy Platform focuses on a number of areas, but our members have been particularly outspoken against the recently instituted sales tax on computer services," said Julie Coons, Chief Executive Officer of TCM. "The complete repeal of the computer services sales tax is TCM's top priority," said Coons.
During the 2007 special session, the Maryland General Assembly passed SB 2 Tax Reform Act of 2007. This bill imposes the 6% sales tax to computer services including computer facilities management and operation, custom computer programming,computer system planning and design that integrate computer hardware, software and communication technologies, computer disaster recovery and data processing, storage and recovery as well as hardware or software installation or maintenance and repair. The sales tax on computer services takes effect July 1, 2008 and sunsets June 30, 2013.
TCM's advocacy efforts during the 2008 regular session of the Maryland General Assembly are focused on repealing the computer services tax. This includes the formation of a coalition with business partners including the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, local tech councils, local chambers, business advocacy groups and impacted Maryland companies. The Fight the Tech Tax Coalition will work together to make sure that the business community's voice is heard in Annapolis during the 2008 session and that a repeal of the computer services tax is a priority for the technology sector.
Other selected priorities in the Platform include $6 million in funding for the Biotechnology Investment Incentive Act and fully funding the Governor's budget requests for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation. Additionally, TCM urges careful consideration before offering tax proposals that may adversely impact Maryland's business climate, support for workforce development and higher education initiatives and the continued efforts to find stable, long-term funding solutions for the Transportation Trust Fund.
"Tech Council of Maryland staff and volunteer leaders look forward to working with the Governor, legislators and policymakers on enhancing Maryland technology and biotechnology economy," said Coons.
ABOUT THE TECH COUNCIL OF MARYLAND, INC.
The Tech Council of Maryland (TCM) is the largest technology trade group serving the advanced technology and biotechnology communities of Maryland. TCM's mission is to advocate for the interests of the technology community, further the role of technology in the Maryland economy, and nurture an environment where technology companies can collaborate, grow and succeed. For more information, visit www.techcouncilmd.com.