Administration Initiatives Include Economic Incentives for Amazon HQ2 and Dedicated Funding for Metro
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Hogan was today joined by Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller and Speaker of the House Michael Busch to sign into law two pieces of historic legislation passed during the 2018 Maryland General Assembly session, the Promoting ext-Raordinary Innovation in Maryland’s Economy, or PRIME Act (SB 877) and the Maryland Metro/Transit Funding Act (SB 277/HB 372). The governor and presiding officers were also joined by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) CEO and General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, and numerous other elected officials, stakeholders, and community leaders.
The governor commemorated the occasion by taking a ride on Metro’s Red Line from Bethesda to the Grosvenor-Strathmore station prior to the signing ceremony at The Music Center at Strathmore.
“These two critical pieces of legislation are excellent examples of our administration working in a bipartisan fashion to achieve real results for the people of Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “Dedicated public transportation funding and the potential economic boom of more than 100,000 new jobs with Amazon HQ2 are vital to Maryland’s advancement.”
The PRIME Act, which the governor introduced following Montgomery County’s selection as one of 20 potential locations for Amazon’s HQ2, provides $3 billion in tax credits and exemptions if and when Amazon locates in Maryland and creates a requisite number of jobs and economic activity. The centerpiece of the financial incentive package would allow the company to retain a portion of wages paid to employees, which would otherwise go toward state income taxes. The entire incentive package is strictly contingent upon Amazon choosing to locate in Maryland and meeting promised job creation targets. The governor’s plan also calls for significant transportation upgrades to the area around the potential site, which will also benefit local businesses and residents.
“This legislation puts Maryland in prime position to attract Amazon’s new headquarters, which would generate more than $17 billion annually to our state economy,” said Governor Hogan. This is the biggest and most substantial economic development opportunity in a generation.”
The Maryland Metro/Transit Funding Act provides $167 million in dedicated funding for the Metro system. Governor Hogan was the first regional leader to propose a solution to address the half-billion dollar a year shortfall that Metro is currently experiencing. The governor’s original proposal would have split the cost among Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and the federal government, however the federal government declined to increase their contribution despite federal workers making up nearly 40 percent of riders. A three-way split between Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. was successfully negotiated, resulting in a steady stream of funding for this vital transit system, as the governor continues to advocate for the federal government to pay its fair share.
“The legislation we are signing into law today marks the first time in history that Metro has received a dedicated source of funding,” said Governor Hogan. “Maryland was the first state to propose a real solution for the system’s tremendous financial shortfall; we know that Metro is a must-have transportation option for Marylanders.”
“With the enactment of these pieces of legislation today, we are sending a very clear message that we can work together in a bipartisan fashion to deliver real results for Maryland and for the Greater Washington metro region,” said the governor.