"It's Wrong for Maryland," Declares Tech Council CEO Julie Coons
(ROCKVILLE, MD) February 28, 2008 The Tech Council of Maryland, Maryland's largest trade association representing the IT and Biotech industries, joined with the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and fellow members of the Fight the Tech Tax Coalition at a rally in Annapolis on Wednesday calling for repeal of the computer services sales tax.
Speaking to an overflow crowd of more than 200 IT professionals from around the state, Tech Council of Maryland CEO Julie Coons said the tax stifles economic development and job creation in the state's most promising industry which accounts for some 68,000 highly skilled, well-paying jobs in the region. She cautioned lawmakers to consider the shortsightedness of the tax in a state that is counting on BRAC and its related businesses to drive future economic growth.
"Once these jobs leave, they may never return. Its wrong for Maryland," Ms. Coons declared to a round of applause.
Business leaders, including Larry Letow, President and COO of Convergence Technology Consulting; Joseph Weaver, Principal of Global Design Interactive; and Gail Bassin, Chair of the Board and Treasurer of JBS International, Inc. described the hardship of the tax in an industry that relies on razor-thin profit margins and faces increasing competition from overseas.
David Ronis, CTO of Martek, a Columbia-based biosciences company, pointed out that the tax's negative effects will be felt far beyond the technology community, by driving up costs for all Maryland based businesses and consumers that purchase computer services.
Several legislators from both sides of the aisle attended the rally to show their commitment to solving the computer services tax issue. Sen. Robert Garagiola, a Montgomery County Democrat, expressed frustration with the measure, saying, "I've been spending almost every day trying to find a way to repeal this."
After the rally at the Maryland Inn, the crowd walked to the House and Senate office buildings for personal visits with their representatives. Hearings on more than 17 bills to repeal or reduce the tax are scheduled in the House for March 12.
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.