Jim knows that small businesses will rebuild our economy, not the government. That's why he supported tax relief and innovative economic development policies, and opposed burdensome regulations on small business owners.
Jim led the fight to allow restaurants and bars in Worcester County to purchase their wine or liquor supplies on the free market, enabling them to shop for the best prices, instead of being mandated to buy their supplies from the county Liquor Control Board at a much higher cost.
Jim understood that the 6% "tech tax" was a raw deal for local businesses and a job killer. The tax threatened hundreds of local companies - many of which could have moved their operations and their jobs across the state line to avoid the tax. Jim voted against creating the tech tax during the 2007 special session, and championed the successful repeal of the tax before it took effect. When Democrats in the legislature fought to increase taxes, Jim Mathias voted no and supported amendments and legislation to help grow small businesses instead of hindering their progress.
Jim supported tax credits to help local businesses. He joined a bi-partisan coalition to pass the Job Creation and Recovery Tax Credit, which benefits businesses that hire unemployed Marylanders. He voted to extend the Employment Opportunity Tax Credit (a.k.a. "Work, Not Welfare" Tax Credit), which gives businesses a credit against the wages and childcare expenses for an employee hired off of public assistance. He supported tax credits for employers who want to invest in security clearances for their employers, and supported incentives for businesses that create new jobs. He also voted to create tax credits to help small businesses defray the cost of investments in renewable energy and also co-sponsored successful legislation making it easier for small businesses to get loans at below-market interest rates.
Jim helped expand the "Enterprise Zone" program by doubling the number of sites that can be designated as an Enterprise Zone in a county. Businesses that locate in an Enterprise Zone are eligible for local property tax credits and State income tax credits for ten years. There are nearly 70 businesses in Enterprise Zones on the Lower Shore that receive over $175,000 in tax credits annually.
Tourism is a critical component to our local economy, which is why Jim Mathias has advocated and voted for increased state funding to the Maryland Tourism Development Board.
Jim has also fought to make sure the Lower Shore is getting its fair share. He fought to expand the opportunities for small businesses by fighting to increase funding and access to Small Business Development Centers in the district. Jim has also been a strong voice against increased and onerous taxes and has fought to decrease the regulations that hurt small businesses daily.