The Greater Baltimore Committee is urging state lawmakers to pass a newly proposed tax credit for businesses that locate at research parks affiliated with one of Maryland’s higher education institutions.
Legislation that would create the tax credit, SB 739, was heard today by the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. Sponsored by Senator Nathaniel J. McFadden, D-Baltimore City, the bill would award a state income tax credit to companies moving into an eligible research park. Companies would receive credit for relocation expenses, the first few months of lease or rent expense, or other related expenses.
The bill would cap the tax credit’s awards at $4 million per year and limit the credit to no more than $50,000 per company.
A companion bill, House Bill 1139, sponsored by Delegate Dan K. Morhaim, D-Balt. Co., and others, will be heard on March 15 by the House Ways and Means Committee.
The legislation was suggested by the GBC, the region’s most prominent organization of business and civic leaders, to help nurture start-up and emerging bioscience companies in Baltimore and Maryland. Supporting bioscience industry growth is one of the GBC’s top strategic priorities for the Baltimore region.
Working with Senator McFadden, the GBC developed this tax credit proposal in order to allow companies that might not be able to take advantage of the existing biotech or research and development tax credits to receive a tax break for their investments in the biotech industry in Maryland.
“Our bioscience business community is largely comprised of start-ups and early-stage companies. This bill is the bioscience business equivalent of giving new homeowners a tax break to encourage ownership,” said GBC President Donald C. Fry. “It’s a sound investment because as companies grow, they’re going to contribute to the tax base.”
The tax credit proposal for new research park tenants is among a half-dozen bioscience-related measures the GBC is urging the General Assembly to pass during the 2006 legislative session.
“Bioscience business development activity is accelerating in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and people elsewhere are noticing. Our higher education institutions and our location near Washington-area federal agencies serve as a catalyst for this growth,” said Fry. “This year is an extremely opportune time for Maryland’s government to make a strong, visible commitment to nurturing the growth of the bioscience sector in our state.”