The Maryland Tech Council’s Policy Priorities
These policy priorities were identified for their ability to spur innovation for industries and industry sectors that are crucial to our State and to the country from medical devices, pharmaceutical, therapeutic, bioinformatics, biologics and stem cells to cybersecurity, information technology, healthcare IT, telecommunications, government contracting and software development. A healthy climate for these industries begins with priority issues such as economic development incentives, tax policy, workforce, higher education, and transportation infrastructure. These issues are critical for everyone from entrepreneurs with start-up companies to large employers creating numerous jobs that support the State's economy.
- Increase the availability of risk capital to support technology and life science job growth. Important programs include the Research and Development Tax Credit and Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit.
- Increase opportunities for entrepreneurship and technology commercialization in Maryland. Support for programs such as the InvestMaryland program and Maryland Innovation Initiative are important.
- Promote a competitive and modern regulatory environment for the technology and life science industries. Outdated or unnecessary regulations can inhibit the growth of innovation in Maryland.
- Support stability and certainty for the business community by making positive changes to the corporate tax structure that make Maryland more competitive for the attraction and retention of jobs. These include rejection of combined reporting and adoption of single sales factor for all employers.
- Implement continued long-term policy solutions for Maryland’s most important assets, including the transportation and data infrastructures and the higher education system. Improving Maryland’s assets are the key to creating the best environment possible for business attraction and retention.
TECHNOLOGY / LIFE SCIENCE PRIORITIES
- Increase available risk capital for Maryland’s most innovative businesses and industries through programs including the R&D Tax Credit, Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit and Maryland Industrial Partnerships program and the creation of an angel investment tax credit.
- Create a Maryland Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) matching fund modeled on successful programs currently in place in other states to foster job growth and economic development for small and growing innovative companies.
- Support cybersecurity economic development including a strengthened and effective Cybersecurity Tax Credit program.
- Examine the creation of a net operating loss incentive that boosts competitiveness and long-term viability of some start-up and early-stage companies.
- Support advancing biomedical innovation benefiting patients to grow jobs and serve the best interests of patients and oppose efforts including permissibility of drug importation, barriers to biomedical research, limitations on responsible marketing practices, mandates regarding manufacturer responsibility for the disposal of medications and restrictions on the physician-patient relationship limiting access to innovative medicines.
- Support telecommunications innovation and investment to expand high-speed broadband through encouraging private investment to expand the availability of high-speed broadband in unserved and underserved areas and a modernized, competitively neutral communications tax and fee system that eliminates the disparate treatment of similar communications service providers.
- Encourage and grow Maryland’s healthcare information technology through collaborative efforts with industry and Maryland’s higher education institutions and community colleges to offer innovative academic programs should be explored.
- Reform Maryland’s IT procurement system including a review of the current the requirements for limited liability clauses and bonding on technology-related projects, which often leads to the ability for only very large companies to bid for projects.
- Support the creation of incentives to spur manufacturing in Maryland, particularly in the areas of high-tech and biotechnology.
TAX CLIMATE PRIORITIES
- Create certainty for the business community by rejecting new taxes or onerous changes to the existing corporate tax structure including combined reporting.
- Examine reducing the cost of business in Maryland through a gradual and incremental reduction in the corporate tax rate and the income tax rate.
- Implement single sales factor apportionment for all Maryland businesses.
TRANSPORTATION / INFRASTRUCTURE PRIORITIES
- Support and maintain stable funding solutions for Maryland’s transportation infrastructure, including the creation of a long-term strategy.
- Ensure access to reliable power at reasonable costs.
HIGHER EDUCATION / WORKFORCE PRIORITIES
- Ensure higher education is affordable and available for Maryland’s students.
- Support funding for the MdBioLab STEM Education Program.
- Ensure Maryland schools have the necessary resources to address future workforce needs by focusing on a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum vital for creating a competitive workforce that meets the needs of our knowledge economy.
- Encourage the creation of apprenticeship program for innovative industries and areas, such as cybersecurity, where there are workforce and talent shortages.