Franchot urges counties to consider providing tax deferments

Franchot urges counties to consider providing tax deferments

Comptroller Peter Franchot (MarylandReporter file photo)

@BryanRenbaum

Comptroller Peter Franchot Tuesday sent a letter to county officials throughout Maryland asking them to explore the possibility of providing temporary tax deferments similar to what the comptroller’s office has initiated at the state level.

“Earlier this month, I announced immediate relief for small businesses in the form of a three-month tax forbearance for business taxes and estimated monthly payments, and a two-month forbearance for employer withholding payments. All business tax returns and payments that are due from January through March will be pushed back to April 15th. Similarly, employer withholding payments that are due between February and April, will now be due on April 15th,” Franchot wrote.

He continued: “As I have with the IRS, I am respectfully urging county governments to consider exploring the feasibility of similar forbearance periods for taxes that you may collect. This temporary extension will allow small businesses to keep as much money in their pockets during these tough times and help them keep the lights on until more federal is received.”

The letter comes after multiple emails and calls to Franchot’s office about a pledge Franchot made in a Jan. 6 interview with MarylandReporter.com. In the interview, the comptroller was asked if he would urge county officials to consider tax forbearance in their respective jurisdictions. Franchot replied: “We are going to put that out in the letter to Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and other counties and jurisdictions. That is exactly what they should be doing, within parameters.”

Franchot’s press secretary, Alan Brody, said the comptroller’s office wanted to make sure that due diligence was performed before the letter was crafted and sent out to the state’s 24 jurisdictions.

Franchot, a Democrat, is a candidate for governor in 2022.

The tax holiday the comptroller authorized at the state level was in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Franchot has been critical of the Hogan administration’s handling of the state’s unemployment insurance system. In an interview with FOX 45 News on Monday he called on the governor to take action to address the backlog in claims.

“Do something as governor to cut through the bureaucracy and red tape…get up and speak honestly to people and say: ‘We know it’s completely screwed up. We just can’t handle it.'”

The Hogan administration has taken several steps to try to make the system more efficient, such as hiring additional personnel for call centers, expanding the hours of call centers, and updating the state’s online filing system.

About The Author

Bryan Renbaum

Bryan@MarylandReporter.com

Reporter Bryan Renbaum served as the Capitol Hill Correspondent for Talk Media News for the past three-and-a-half years, filing print, radio and video reports on the Senate and the House of Representatives. He covered congressional reaction to the inauguration of President Donald Trump as well as the confirmation hearings of attorneys general Jeff Sessions and William Barr and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He also filed breaking news reports on the 2017 shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others. Previously Bryan broke multiple stories with the Baltimore Post-Examiner including sexual assault scandals at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a texting scandal on the women’s lacrosse team at that school for which he was interviewed by ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He also covered the Maryland General Assembly during the 2016 legislative session as an intern for Maryland Reporter. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from McDaniel College. If you have additional questions or comments contact Bryan at: bryan@marylandreporter.com

1 Comment

  1. Tia Clark

    My issue with this is that if we are going to give a tax break or deferment to businesses, we should be doing the same for individuals who pay taxes. It’s not fair to treat one party or one organization better than the people who keep these businesses going. I am a resident and home owner in Prince George’s County and I have not seen a deferment or lower taxes for us yet. Every year, I pay more in taxes while other counties like Montgomery County and every other county in Maryland pay less. Why is that? Prince George’s county has paid the most in taxes for the last twenty years that I am aware of. When will people be treated fairly across the board? I can’t help but wonder if it’s because most of the county are people of color and our governor is a republican? The capitol riot on 1/6/21 has opened my eyes to a lot of things about race that I didn’t think was this bad. Things must change for the better. Not just for businesses but also for individuals who pay taxes. All counties should be treated fairly across the board or Maryland will see more and more people leaving the state to venture where people are being treated fairly.

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