Recently, a bill was introduced to the Prince George's County Council to benefit county-based start-up companies owned by county residents. If enacted, this bill would establish the "Prince George's County Business Start-up Personal Property Tax Credit" to stimulate business growth within the county. The bill was introduced and sponsored by every member of Prince George's County Council.
Over the past decade, Prince George's County has experienced tremendous growth. With a median income 20% higher than the national average, seven colleges and universities, and fifteen federal agencies based in the county, Prince Geroge's County is tailor-made for a small business owner to call the county home. Also, with 95% of businesses in the county being small businesses, opportunities to grow are welcome. CB-070-2022, according to its sponsors, is intended to present an opportunity to help the county reach its full potential.
CB-070-2022 defines a locally-owned and operated business as one whose primary place of business and headquarters is within Prince George's County, and it has more than 50% ownership by one or more county residents. That threshold above 50% is key and could be interpreted in different ways. One could make the argument that if there are two business owners, one living in Prince George's County and one living in Montgomery County that they would not qualify for the Personal Property Tax Credit since they do not have more than 50% of their owners living in the county. However, that is an issue that may be discussed during the committee process.
Another qualifying definition included in the bill is the requirement that the business has been operating for 24 months or less. This would disqualify any of the new businesses that were established during the height of the pandemic in 2020 from applying for this tax credit. The bill also states that a business that applied may only have fifteen employees or less, and the property is not the operating property of a railroad or public utility. As for when a business can apply and when the tax will be approved under this bill, businesses may apply annually, and the property tax credit will be approved for taxes imposed on the eligible business personal property during the first sixty months after the business commences operations. The Office of Finance would be the agency to regulate the tax credit's implementation.
CB-070-2022 is at the beginning of the legislative process. It was been presented and referred to the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, which is chaired by Council Member Edward Burroughs. The bill will now have a hearing(s) in the committee before it is brought back to the Council for the final vote. However, the timing of any committee work on CB-070-2022 has not been made public at this time. If there are any questions about this bill or concerns, feel free to follow up with his office at 301-952-3860 or email him at Councildistrict8@co.pg.md.us