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Ferguson, Miller Propose Advertising Tax Bill

January 10th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

WBAL reports that  Senate Democrats in Annapolis have come up with an idea for how to pay for $4 billion worth of public school reforms. It is a tax on gross revenues from digital advertising firms. Under the bill introduced Wednesday, the tax would be imposed on firms with annual revenues of at least $100,000. The tax rate would range from 2.5% to 10%, depending on revenues. The money would be used to fund education reforms recommended by the Kirwan Commission. There is no estimate as to how much money the tax would generate for the state.

Current Senate President Bill Ferguson and former Senate President now Senate President Emeritus Mike Miller are co-sponsoring the measure.

Miller told the Daily Record he sponsored the bill at Ferguson's request.

In an interview with WBAL NewsRadio 1090 and FM 101.5 last week, Ferguson said lawmakers would be looking to extend state taxes to the digital economy.

A spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan responded to the proposal Thursday night.

"Governor Hogan will fund education at record levels for the sixth year in a row–without any tax increases. Meanwhile, this is the second, third, or possibly fourth, tax increase legislators have suggested so far to pay for the Kirwan plan, and they're still nowhere close to answering the question: Where is the money coming from?" said Michael Ricci, communications director for Hogan.  

A committee hearing has not been scheduled yet.

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