GBC urges lawmakers to bolster tax credits for R&D and for biotech investments

The Greater Baltimore Committee March 1 urged state lawmakers to increase the amount of tax credits available in Maryland for investment in research and development.

The GBC also supported legislation that would increase the amount of tax credits individuals and companies could receive for investing in emerging biotechnology companies.

“These tax credits are vitally important tools for nurturing growth among technology companies,” said GBC president Donald C. Fry. “They also would help generate strong growth of biotechnology start-up companies seeking to put the state’s vast amount of academic research activity to commercial use.”

Supporting the growth of technology and biotechnology businesses is among the top strategic priorities of the GBC, a prominent, business development and advocacy organization of with more than 500 members in the Baltimore region.

The GBC offered testimony today to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in support of two measures, SB 218 and SB 700, that would increase to $12 million the aggregate amount of research and development tax credits available in FY 2007.

The increase would allow Maryland to remain competitive with 34 other states that offer some form of research and development tax credit, GBC Vice President Devon Dodson told Budget and Taxation Committee members. The tax credit “is an important state tool to attract and retain technology businesses in Maryland,” he said. “Technological innovation is the major factor driving economic growth.”

The committee is also hearing another administration bill supported by the GBC, SB 219, that would increase the amount of tax credit that individuals and corporations could receive on a single investment in an emerging biotechnology company.

The biotechnology tax credit was passed in 2005 by the General Assembly, but provided for no funding mechanism. The existing law allows for investors to receive a 50 percent tax credit on eligible investments in a qualified Maryland biotechnology company.

This year’s bill would cap the tax credit on a single investment by an individual at no more than 10 percent of the total amount of tax credit funding available in a given year. A corporate investor would receive up to 20 percent of the total available tax credits.

Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. has included $6 million in the FY 2007 budget for the biotechnology tax credit.

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