Jim Mathias is committed to expanding economic opportunity, building safer communities, and preserving our unique quality of life on the Lower Eastern Shore.
Jim knows the role that small businesses play in our community because he grew up in a family business. He understands the challenges that small business owners face because he ran a business for over 30 years.
Jim helped his father establish a business in Ocean City. When his father died, he and his brother made a commitment to their mother that they would run the business, but that they would not take out any loans to finance their day-to-day operations. Jim respects the hard decisions small business owners face and the sacrifices they make because he faced the same decisions and made the same sacrifices.
As one of only a handful of legislators with small business experience, Jim continues to fight for targeted investments, lower taxes, and a stable regulatory environment. He helped establish a $5,000 tax credit for business who hire unemployed workers, and he voted to expand the state's "Enterprise Zone" program, which provides tax credits to almost 70 businesses on the Lower Shore. Jim voted against raising the corporate income tax and the state sales tax as well as the alcohol tax.
Jim and his wife Kathy raised their children Lauren and Trevor here, and Jim is committed to building safer communities so that young parents can continue to raise their families on the Lower Shore.
That's why Jim has been leading the effort to crack down on sexual predators, including mandatory minimum prison sentences and lifetime supervision for the most violent offenders. He helped give prosecutors better tools to fight gang violence, and he voted for the Safe Schools Act, which will help educators and law enforcement officials target gang activity in our schools.
Jim remains extremely active in our community. He is a charter member of the Knights of Columbus #9053, a member of Saint Mary's Star of the Sea Parish, and is a life member and has served as Chaplain of the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company. He served on the Maryland Critical Area Commission, the Maryland Tourism Development Board, and served as State Chairman for the 2004 Walk America for the March of Dimes. He served at various times as Chairman of the Worcester County Ambulance Service Committee, and was Chairman of the Ocean City Humane Society Commission. He currently serves on the Lower Eastern Shore Children's Center Advisory Board and the Governor's Commission on Small Business.
Prior to serving the Lower Shore in the legislature, Jim served as Mayor of Ocean City. During his tenure, Ocean City evolved into one of the most sought-after residential resort communities in the nation. Named an All-America City in 2001 by the National Civic League, Ocean City was recognized as an exemplary town that employed "grassroots community problem-solving that cooperatively tackles problems and achieves results." Jim also served on the Ocean City Council and as a member of the Ocean City Board of Zoning Appeals."