House Bill Would Give Property Tax Break to New/Small Businesses

Known as the Personal Property Tax-Credit for New or Small Businesses, the bill, if passed, “would give every county in the state, as well as Baltimore city, the option to give a property tax credit up to 100 percent against the county or municipal corporation property tax imposed on property that is owned or leased by a new or small business,” reports The Daily Record.

Paid Sick Leave Support Falls When Reality Sets In, Poll Finds

Would you support mandatory paid sick leave if it meant fewer jobs, fewer available work hours, cuts in health care and retirement benefits, higher prices for goods and services, and if the mandate was paid for with a payroll tax assessed on workers? These questions were asked at random in a recent poll conducted by Annapolis-based Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies and paid for by small business groups that oppose the effort.

The results were a wake up call: While 73 percent of those polled showed initial support for mandatory paid sick leave, that support dropped precipitously when the respondents were presented with these specific scenarios. Cuts in retirement or health care benefits caused support for the mandate to drop to just 12 percent, with 77 percent in opposition in that scenario. About 66 percent of respondents said they would oppose the mandate if it meant fewer working hours or fewer jobs available.

“In all cases, the fall-off of support cut across all demographics and political parties, according to the poll,” reports The Daily Record, who obtained a copy of the poll. Read more:

Construction Industry and Jobs Rank Tops in Maryland’s Future Job Growth

Three construction sector jobs will experience the highest growth rates over the next three years, said Daraius Irani chief economist at Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute, during a keynote address during the  recent Baltimore Business Journal’s Hiring Right 2016 event. The top three job sectors are: carpenters, with 3.3 percent growth; construction managers, with 3.1 percent growth, and cost estimators at 2.7 percent growth. Rounding out the top five are anesthesiologists at 1.8 percent and registered nurses at 1.6 percent.

Among the five fastest growing industries over the next three years, construction also sits at the top spot, with growth projected at 3.7 percent.

Read the BBJ report here:

Maryland Second State in LEED Certifications

Maryland came in second when it comes to LEED certification, with 127 projects LEED-certified, representing 3.06 square feet of certified space per resident, according to The U.S. Green Building Council’s latest annual Top 10 States for LEED list.  Illinois topped the list with 161 LEED certifications, representing 3.43 sf/resident. The remainder of the list, from the third highest to tenth includes: Massachusetts, Washington State, Colorado, Nevada, California, Texas, Virginia, and Utah. Washington, D.C. doesn’t qualify as a state, but actually has the highest LEED rate in the nation, with
84 projects LEED-certified and 19.30 sf/resident.

Read more in Construction Dive:

Op-Ed Chronicles History of Racism in Prevailing Wage Laws

A Daily News op-ed by David E. Bernstein, GMU Foundation Professor at George Mason University School of Law, chronicles the inherent racism in NY’s prevailing wage laws, a good primer for anyone interested in understanding how prevailing wage may also negatively impact workers and small businesses in Maryland.

“Those New York officials who care about promoting racial diversity need to stop supporting prevailing wage mandates, which only have the opposite effect of sanctioning the long-standing pattern of racial discrimination practiced by New York’s construction unions,” concludes Bernstein.

Read Bernstein’s full op-ed, The Racism Behind Prevailing Wage, here: