Democratic gubernatorial candidate Anthony G. Brown today will unveil a $112.3 million, four-year plan aimed at creating jobs and improving Maryland’s business climate.
The lieutenant governor's plan would be funded by state tax revenues it anticipates will be derived from two large, long-planned transportation projects – Baltimore’s Red Line and the Purple Line in the Washington suburbs.
The 17-page plan contains a series of initiatives, including expanding public-private partnerships, increasing loans and grants to developing businesses, creating a small-business manufacturing tax credit and strengthening the Port of Baltimore.
The blueprint outlines each of the proposals, including estimated price tags for each. It covers four years, beginning with a $32.7 million investment in the 2016 fiscal year.
The initiatives “are necessary to expand economic opportunity, create jobs and spur economic growth,” said the plan’s executive summary.
Among the biggest-ticket items is the proposed expansion – by $10 million over the next four years – of the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Fund, which provides capital and incentives to small and medium-sized businesses.
The expansion would be phased in, beginning with a $2.5 million boost in the 2016 fiscal year.
The fund is currently allocated $28 million for the 2015 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Another proposal would create a new tax credit for small companies – those under 100 employees – to purchase new manufacturing equipment. The cost is estimated at $5 million a year over four years.
The plan proposes using the existing capital budget to strengthen the Port of Baltimore by building an Intermodal Container Transfer Facility that would allow more flexibility in cargo transfers. The plan said that “we can make the Port an even stronger force in Maryland’s economy.”
The Red Line transit project would cut west-to-east across — and at times under — Baltimore. The Purple Line is a light-rail project linking Montgomery and Prince George's counties. The Brown campaign said it conservatively estimated that the state would realize 6 percent of the economic output of the two projects in the form of tax revenues.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun