2022 Voter Guide: Timothy J. Adams, candidate for Maryland Comptroller

Maryland Comptroller

Timothy J. Adams



Bowie, Prince George's County

CEO of SA-Tech Mayor of Bowie

B.S. - Xavier University M.B.A. - University of New Orleans

Mayor of Bowie

Why are you running for office?

I believe Maryland has an opportunity to make greater strides toward true equity. We are leaving too many resources on the table, ultimately hurting Maryland taxpayers who have to pick up the tab. We must close corporate tax loopholes so wealthy corporations pay their fair share. And should voters legalize marijuana, we must be prepared to properly tax it, collect those taxes, and fight to invest those funds in education. Additionally, Maryland continues to fall woefully short in ensuring equitable opportunities for minority and women owned businesses. The next Comptroller can play a tremendous role in ensuring that we make progress on these issues. As a Mayor who has governed during COVID and a CEO with more than 30 years of experience running one of the largest black owned companies in America, I know how to manage large, complex organizations to achieve the tax fairness and equity that Marylanders deserve.

What is the most pressing issue facing the state of Maryland?

Maryland is a portrait of inequality — the state with among the most dynamic economies in the nation also contains communities, particularly rural areas and black and brown neighborhoods, that do not share in the state's economic opportunity. My own success as a Black man in business was an outlier, obtained only with tremendous work overcoming adversity. Economic and social change will remain elusive without greater fiscal transparency and government accountability. The office of Comptroller is an important piece of this puzzle. Certainly, the Comptroller can participate in direct interventions, like making tax collection simpler and fairer, making procurement more equitable, and advancing state capital investment in Black and Brown neighborhoods and rural areas. But the office's broad constitutional mandate also implies underutilized tools to make government more open, like investigations, audits, and reports on government spending that make government more responsive to Marylanders.

What should be the future of the Red Line through Baltimore?

Governor Larry Hogan's abrupt cancellation of the Red Line project ranks among the most puzzling and disappointing choices of his tenure as governor. The project would create opportunities for countless disadvantaged Baltimoreans, and it would have represented a monumental step towards an overdue modern transit system for the region. Between the tax dollars Marylanders have already put towards transit investment via the new gas tax, passed nearly a decade ago, and a generational infrastructure investment from the federal government, the funding exists to set this project under way. As a future member of the Board of Public Works, and in all other capacities as Comptroller, I would support moving forward with the Red Line project.

Should the state continue to redevelop State Center in Baltimore or do you consider that project dead?

The State Center saga is one of a long line of examples of state officials failing Baltimore. As a member of the Board of Public Works, I will push for the state to quickly resolve outstanding litigation and barriers to development to move forward with a State Center project that returns state agencies to the area and creates economic opportunities for nearby West Baltimore.

Do you support the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System divesting itself of socially problematic assets?

SRPS's foremost responsibility is to keep its promise to beneficiaries. However, I believe there is a strong argument that socially responsible pension investments are usually in accordance, rather than in conflict, with meeting our pension obligations. The clearest examples are certain fossil fuel and private prison assets: there is little sense in securing pensioners' benefits with assets that directly contribute to devastating costs to them and their communities in the long term. Not all examples are so clear-cut, but each investment should be evaluated holistically as to whether it serves pensioners' long-term interests.

What criteria will you use to evaluate capital projects as a member of the Board of Public Works?

To earn my vote, capital projects must: Create demonstrable value for Maryland taxpayers Coincide with a long-term strategy to achieve a transparent public policy goal Taken as a whole with other capital investments, provide equal opportunity for all Marylanders whether they live in Western Maryland, West Baltimore, or the Eastern Shore. Taken as a whole with other capital investments, demonstrate that the state is on track to finally meet its procurement commitments to Minority Business Enterprises.

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