Fry to Sun readers: Electricity choices benefit consumers

In a June 22 Sun op-ed page, Greater Baltimore Committee president and CEO Donald C. Fry noted, as a result of de-regulation, government agencies and businesses in Maryland have saved millions of dollars by purchasing cheaper electricity through the competative energy marketplace.  He urges the state to shift its policy...

Donald Fry: If not the gas tax, then what?

By Donald C. Fry Since state lawmakers are palpably reluctant to increase Maryland’s per-gallon gasoline tax, which is the single largest source of revenue for the state’s Transportation Trust Fund, last month in this space I asked the question, “If not the gas tax, then what?” That’s the crux of Maryland’s dilemma as the state faces a more than $40 billion backlog of highway, transit, port and airport projects that … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Are re-regulation and energy innovation compatible?

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR Because of the price-increase trauma we all experienced in 2006 as a by-product of Maryland’s 1999 de-regulation of electricity, Marylanders tend to think that de-regulation hasn’t worked. But the fact is, de-regulation in Maryland and elsewhere has been far from a failure, local energy experts say. Remember, the 2006 price shock for residential electricity customers occurred because for seven years prices were, by law, artificially … Continue reading

Some successes for business emerge from difficult General Assembly session

Despite what has been a difficult session for both lawmakers and business advocates, a number of GBC-supported bills that will have a positive impact on Maryland’s business climate and economic growth gained passage, including measures to extend and improve the bioscience investment tax credit, provide local incentives for transit oriented development, and to strengthen the minority business enterprise program. Meanwhile, a bill to re-regulate electricity — which was strongly opposed … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Tax credits — a government ‘investment’ you can measure

Don Fry Commentary on WYPRElected officials refer to just about every kind of government spending as an investment. While this is true, much government spending doesn’t lend itself directly to a traditional dollars-and-cents measurement of return on investment. But in Maryland there is one type of government investment that is eminently quantifiable: tax credits. They are proven incentives that reliably generate measurable multiples of private business investment and jobs. As … Continue reading

MTA to double parking at West Baltimore MARC station

The Maryland Transit Administration plans to construct two new commuter parking lots for West Baltimore’s MARC station that would add 400 spaces, doubling the station’s parking capacity, an MTA official told the Greater Baltimore Committee. Promoting maximum use of MARC and expanding its service are high GBC priorities. Currently, average daily ridership on MARC routinely exceeds its capacity. The two new lots would ease the daily overflow of commuters’ cars … Continue reading

O’Malley bill would improve key tax credit incentive for commercial revitalization

Governor Martin O’Malley has proposed legislation that would extend and greatly strengthen Maryland’s tax credit program for rehabilitating historic buildings and make needed adjustments to a key statewide economic development incentive that the GBC strongly supports. The administration bill, SB258/HB309 — The Maryland Heritage Structure Tax Credit Rehabilitation Program — will be heard next week on March 4 in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and on March 5 in … Continue reading

GBC priorities for 2009 General Assembly session

Continuing strong state support for bioscience and technology industry development, tax credits that nurture business growth, funding the Red Line’s construction in Baltimore, and other important transportation initiatives are among the Greater Baltimore Committee’s priorities as lawmakers convene on January 14 for the 2009 session of the Maryland General Assembly. “It’s critical that our elected leaders focus on positioning Maryland to emerge from the current recession with a stronger business … Continue reading

Economic development expert updates GBC on current projects in Baltimore

There has been a lot of progress on projects throughout Baltimore City, some well-known and other developments that are just as important, Kimberly A. Clark, executive vice president, Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) told GBC members at a Planning and Project Development Committee Meeting on November 17. Key projects outlined by Clark and BDC President M.J. “Jay” Brodie include: Baltimore Arena While Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena continues to function, it is … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Consider an infrastructure focus for new federal stimulus

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR Policymakers in Washington are wrestling with which tactic for the federal $700 billion bailout will most benefit the economy — using federal funds to buy troubled financial paper or investing directly into financial institutions hoping to inject the money into the economy through revived lending. Meanwhile, lawmakers are considering enacting a new economic stimulus package. In my mind, such a package should focus not on … Continue reading