If passed, Marylanders could see direct payments and new tax credits.

Maryland’s legislative session for 2021 begins this week and Governor Larry Hogan has already submitted a new COVID relief package. The proposed bill will give direct payments to low and moderate-income residents and provide tax credits to individuals and businesses, all with a $1-billion price tag. The governor is asking the legislature to work as quickly as possible to pass the bill to get money into the hands of struggling residents.

The meat of the bill will provide payments of up to $750 for families and $450 for individuals earning less than $56,844. It also provides for a direct payment of $500 for families and $300 for individuals who filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit, ETIC. In a boost to workers on unemployment, people who filed for unemployment in 2020 would see state and local income tax repealed.

2021 COVID Relief Bill
Courtesy Governor Larry Hogan

To help small businesses in the state that are struggling, the bill would give forgive up to $3,000 per month in sales tax for four months, saving businesses more than $300 million. The bill would also prevent businesses from being penalized for taking on loans or grants from the state. Governor Hogan is asking the legislature to make the Relief Act of 2021 the first act of business when it returns on January 13, 2021.

“We will be introducing the RELIEF Act of 2021 as emergency legislation on day one. We will ask both houses of the legislature to act on it immediately so that I can immediately sign it into law, and these relief measures can take effect—all so that we can immediately get these much-needed dollars out the door and into the pockets of those who desperately need it.”

Once the law is passed, state officials could act immediately to send out payments to those who qualify.