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O'Malley proposes job creation tax credit

Governor

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Monday proposed a temporary $3,000 tax credit for every worker taken off the unemployment rolls in the coming year.

The proposal was one of three legislative initiatives designed to aid small businesses that O'Malley said he would push when the legislature convenes next month. Also on his agenda: a proposal to expand access to credit and streamline the loan-approval process for small businesses; and still-unspecified reforms to the state's unemployment trust fund.

The targeted initiatives continue a stepped-up emphasis by O'Malley on job creation as he heads into an election year in which the pace of the economic recovery will be a major issue. O'Malley shared his plans at a Small Business Summit in Baltimore hosted by the Greater Baltimore Committee, a pro-business lobby for the region.

Job creation "has to be the No. 1 priority of all of us," O'Malley told the group. "We know there's still a lot of pain out there."

O'Malley's proposed Job Creation and Recovery Tax Credit would be in place for one year and capped at $20 million. The $3,000 per-worker tax credit would be available to businesses of all sizes, an aide said, and create 6,000 jobs.

O'Malley also proposed expanding access to credit by offering state-backed guarantees through an existing small-business loan program. He said a Rapid Response Program would be developed to provide a 48-hour turn-around on those loans.

"I think the credit crunch is one of the biggest choke points on job creation," O'Malley said.

O'Malley also repeated a pledge to mitigate a three-fold increase in unemployment taxes that many businesses face next year. The governor offered no details but pledged to sign emergency legislation to provide "immediate relief."

-- John Wagner

By Anne Bartlett  |  December 7, 2009; 11:02 AM ET
Categories:  Governor , John Wagner  
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