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Berlin, MD 21811
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Editorial

Dumping personal property tax good start

10/24/13

The political season is certainly under way, as was evidenced Tuesday by the gathering of candidates for the General Assembly in Ocean Pines, where the consensus among these hopefuls is that Maryland is not as business-friendly as it ought to be.

And, by golly, candidates will say that something ought to be done about it.

Here’s a suggestion: eliminate the most illogical and unfair business tax in this state: the personal property tax.

For those who don’t know, the personal property tax is essentially an inventory tax, which is to say it’s a charge against thue of a business’s furniture and equipment, among other things.

Never mind that this same furniture and equipment was taxed the year before, the year before that and the year before that. It is a never-ending cycle that really amounts to a use fee that businesses must pay for the right to use the equipment they bought and on which they also paid sales tax.

This is in addition to business license fees and other charges that most enterprises face every year.

There is no real defense of this financing scheme other than governments have come to depend on the revenue it generates. It’s as if a person bought a sport coat and then had to pay an annual charge for the right to wear it. 

Want to take a small step to make Maryland more business-friendly? Dumping this tax would be a good start.

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