Just a few minutes ago, I filed as a candidate for re-election as Comptroller of Maryland. See video at FRANCHOT.COM.
Having done so, I wanted to thank you for your support throughout my term in office. Your friendship and sound advice have been vital to my efforts to serve as an independent fiscal watchdog for Maryland’s taxpayers.
Indeed, I begin my re-election campaign with an enduring sense of pride for what we have accomplished together. Under my leadership, the Office of the Comptroller has made it easier for law-abiding Marylanders to pay their fair share of taxes. As a result of both new legislation and innovative public outreach, nearly 80 percent of taxpayers are now filing their taxes electronically. This quick and convenient method has saved the State of Maryland millions of dollars in processing costs, and it enables us to get refund checks back into the hands of most taxpayers within three business days.
At the same time, we have taken quick and aggressive action to protect Marylanders from financial predators. Through new laws and strong enforcement, we have cracked down on unscrupulous tax preparers who saddle vulnerable consumers with exorbitant legal and financial penalties, and have curbed the consumer abuses associated with Refund Anticipation Loans.
While we have rewarded those who do the right thing, we have worked aggressively to collect delinquent taxes from those who haven’t. Through sound investments in technology and personnel, a redoubled commitment to enforcement, and a willingness to take corporate tax cheats to court, we have collected more than $3.1 billion in delinquent taxes during my tenure as Comptroller.
We have eliminated corporate tax avoidance schemes such as Delaware Holding Companies.
We have worked with our federal partners to collect more than $65 million from federal vendors who owe taxes to the State of Maryland.
We have worked with our partners in state and local law enforcement to shut down nightclubs that are operating illegally and evading their tax liabilities.
And we have escalated our fight against a national cigarette smuggling industry that disproportionately harms our kids, deprives our state of much-needed revenue, puts our local businesses at a disadvantage, and has been known to finance organized crime. By passing legislation that stiffens the legal penalties for cigarette smuggling, and by making this the top priority of my nationally acclaimed Field Enforcement Division, it is my goal to make Maryland a firewall against this lucrative and increasingly dangerous industry.
Finally, in order to ensure that our state has the resources to invest in those priorities that are truly sacred – from better schools and affordable health care, to more effective law enforcement and a healthier Chesapeake Bay -- I have fought to create a climate of fiscal responsibility in Annapolis. I have also worked to create an economic climate that is not excessively dependent on government spending, but is capable of attracting good-paying private sector jobs.
I have consistently raised my voice in opposition to tax increases that take money out of the pockets of working people who are already struggling to make ends meet.
As a member of Maryland’s powerful Board of Public Works, I have fought against wasteful and inappropriate spending.
As our state’s chief alcohol regulator, I worked with the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation that enables Maryland wineries to hold events, conduct tastings and even sell their products at farmer’s markets. The following year, we worked together again to pass the landmark “Direct Ship” law that now enables consumers to order wine and have it delivered directly to their homes. When I took office in 2007, there were 25 wineries located in the State of Maryland. Today, there are 64, and I will do everything possible to help sustain the growth of this innovative, environmentally sustainable industry.
I have served as a dependable advocate for those small businesses that have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to survive our nation’s economic downturn – as well as those “cornerstone industries” that serve as a lifeline for jobs and philanthropy in communities that desperately need both. Finally, I’ve been a leading voice for all students to receive a financial education before they graduate from Maryland public schools.
I’m truly honored to serve as your independent fiscal watchdog, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. In order continue our shared progress in the areas of taxpayer service, tax fairness and fiscal responsibility, though, I will need your vote. To ensure that I have the resources to share my record and vision with the voters of Maryland, I need your financial support.
Will you help me today with a contribution of $100?
Again, thank you for your continued friendship. It has truly been a privilege to serve you.
Baltimore, Md. (September 13, 2013) – Citing the tireless and selfless service of Maryland’s nonprofit organizations, Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced that his office recently started sending out letters to alert representatives of local nonprofit organizations that they are in jeopardy of losing or have already lost their federal tax-exempt status for failing to file the requisite Form 990 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for three consecutive years.
Alongside U.S. Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and representatives of Maryland’s nonprofit community, Comptroller Franchot unveiled his campaign to notify organizations that are either at risk of losing federal tax-exemption status or whose status has already been revoked due to failing to comply with a change to the federal filing requirement. A federal law change mandates most small tax-exempt organizations with annual gross receipts equivalent to or less than $50,000 to submit the Form 990 or face revocation of tax exempt status.
“As Maryland’s Comptroller, I want to do everything in my power to ensure that each and every Maryland nonprofit organization, and its mission, is not placed in jeopardy by this matter,” said Comptroller Franchot. “Therefore, my office stands ready to help affected nonprofits resolve their situation and return to good standing, as quickly and as easily as possible.”
Prior to 2006, small nonprofits were not required to complete and submit Form 990. However, most small tax-exempt organizations whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less are now mandated to electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard, unless they choose to file a complete Form 990 or Form 990-EZ instead. Nonprofit organizations risk automatic revocation of their federal tax-exempt status if they fail to file the requisite form for three consecutive years. Recently, the IRS provided the Comptroller’s Office with a list of Maryland organizations in jeopardy of losing their tax exemption.
“The services provided everyday by local nonprofit organizations are vital to the health and safety of countless Marylanders, especially during this difficult economy. It’s our duty to protect these organizations as they help our friends and neighbors. I’m proud to support the efforts of the Comptroller’s Office to bring this important issue to the attention of the nonprofit community,” said Congressman Ruppersberger.
Affected organizations can take the following steps to return to good standing with the IRS:
·Call the IRS toll free hotline for tax exempt entities, 1-877-829-5500 for the most updated status report;
·Visit the IRS website that includes explanations of the process and Frequently Asked Questions, by logging on to www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits ;
·Contact the Comptroller of Maryland Ombudsman’s Office for answers to general questions at 410-260-4020 or firstname.lastname@example.org ;
·Visit the Comptroller of Maryland website at www.marylandtaxes.com and click on the hotlink for At-Risk Non Profits;
·Contact the office of your U.S. Senator or Representative for help navigating the IRS system.
“It is of the utmost importance that we help Maryland’s nonprofits clear up their tax situation -- not just for the organizations, but also for the donors who will no longer be able to claim their donations as tax deductions,” continued Comptroller Franchot.
Annapolis, Md. (August 29, 2013) – Reiterating his call for caution in the midst of a slow and anemic economic recovery, Comptroller Peter Franchot released the final closeout numbers for Fiscal Year 2013 today. General Fund revenues totaled $14.9 billion in the fiscal year, 0.4 percent or $62.4 million below the official state forecast.
The revenue data reflected sustained weakness in wages, salaries and consumer spending. Withholding receipts fell $171.3 million short of the state’s modest estimates, increasing just 2.5 percent versus an estimate of 4.0 percent growth. Sales and use tax receipts increased by only 0.7 percent from the previous year, a level of growth that failed to keep pace with the rate of inflation for the same period.
Given the state’s questionable near-term economic outlook, the Comptroller urged the governor and General Assembly to proceed with caution and fiscal restraint.
“These revenue figures highlight an economy that remains exceedingly fragile and uncertain, and they remind us that we must proceed on a prudent financial course in the months ahead. With wages failing to keep pace with the cost of living for too many Maryland families, I would strongly urge my colleagues to resist creating any additional unpredictability for Maryland consumers and small businesses,” Comptroller Franchot said.
To assure Maryland’s taxpayers that their government understands the uncertain fiscal and economic climate we still face, I firmly believe that any fund balance must be saved and not spent,” he added.
Comptroller Franchot noted several factors that have contributed to the state of Maryland’s lethargic revenue performance for the past fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2012 and concluded on June 30, 2013. Among them were:
Maryland’s high unemployment rate which, at 96% of the national unemployment rate, is the highest it has been relative to the US rate since the late 1990s;
The ongoing consequences of sequestration on a state economy that remains heavily reliant upon federal jobs, spending and business opportunities;
The effects of the retroactive state income tax increase that was enacted during the May 2012 special session of the Maryland General Assembly;
The expiration of the federal payroll tax holiday, which increased the tax burden on the average Maryland worker by nearly $700 annually;
“Given the challenges that lie ahead, it is more imperative than ever that we spend taxpayer dollars in the most effective and efficient ways possible, and reassure Maryland’s taxpayers that we are getting the best possible results in return,” said Franchot. “Maryland has long been recognized as a state with extraordinary economic assets, and with leaders who will work together in a spirit of shared resolve to ensure our fiscal and economic security. It is for these reasons that I remain optimistic that we will rise to the challenges that still lie ahead.”
Ocean City, Md. (August 15, 2013) – Citing the benefits to Maryland families, small businesses, and tourism overall, Comptroller Peter Franchot today released the economic impact report completed by the Bureau of Revenue Estimates regarding a post Labor Day start date for all Maryland public schools. Alongside Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan, Senator James N. Mathias, Jr. and numerous members of the local business community, Comptroller Franchot announced that a delayed school start in Maryland would result in an additional $74.3 million in direct economic activity, including $3.7 million in new wages and a separate $7.7 million in state and local revenue.
“The chance for families to spend precious time together and to build lifelong memories during that final, end-of-summer vacation has been lost by the decision to begin school a week, or even ten days, before Labor Day,” said Comptroller Franchot. “Not only does this cut into the opportunity for Marylanders to spend more time together as a family, but it also has a negative impact on small businesses. In these tough economic times, we need to do all that we can to support small businesses and promote economic activity, not cause unnecessary harm to them for no apparent reason.”
With nationally renowned vacation destinations like Ocean City, Deep Creek Lake, and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, tourism is the fourth largest industry in the state. With Maryland welcoming over 32 million domestic travelers annually in recent years, the tourism sector employs more than 340,000 Marylanders. While Labor Day weekend in Maryland is most commonly associated with family trips to resort destinations, it also coincides with other major events occurring throughout the state, including the Maryland State Fair in Timonium, the Grand Prix of Baltimore and four weeknight home games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Instead of reducing the 180-day school year, the Comptroller is confident that the state’s school systems would be able to adjust their calendars throughout the academic year without losing time for instruction in the classroom. The flexibility of adjusting winter and spring breaks or eliminating some of the school closure dates scattered throughout the school calendar would be left to the each of Maryland’s 24 school systems.
“This isn't just necessary because of the $7.7 million in state and local tax revenue it would create for the priorities we care about, or the $74.3 million in direct economic activity it would generate in the midst of a sluggish recovery,” said Comptroller Franchot. “Beyond the money or economic impact, it's about Maryland families who save up a little each paycheck in order to spend one week each year in Ocean City or Deep Creek Lake, or catch an Orioles game or visit the Maryland State Fair before the children return to school.”
The economic impact estimate only includes the direct economic and tax impacts. Incorporating the indirect and induced activity would result in a significant upward revision of the total impact.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (April 11, 2013) – Back for a second year, Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced his office is accepting nominations for the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award. The Comptroller created the award, to recognize individuals and organizations in each county and Baltimore City best exemplifying Schaefer’s lifelong commitment to helping people.
Winners will be selected based on their demonstration of improving the community, swiftly solving a citizen problem through effective government intervention, directly aiding the most vulnerable in society or creating a public/private partnership to improve the lives of Marylanders.
“We received many nominations during the inaugural season so picking just one winner in each jurisdiction proved difficult. There are countless deserving organizations and individuals, who embody Schaefer’s lifelong drive to help people. It just made sense to accept nominations for a second year,” said Comptroller Franchot.
The Comptroller will personally present the award to each winner starting in May.
The nomination form, additional information and a list of past winners can be found on the Comptroller’s website, by clicking here. All nominations must be received by May 10, 2013.
MEDIA CONTACT: Christine Feldmann, 410-260-6346 (office)
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (March 7, 2013) -- The Board of Revenue Estimates met today to write down revenue estimates for Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014 by $115.3 million. Comptroller Peter Franchot, as chairman of the Board, released the following statement.
“As always, I’d like to begin by thanking Andy Schaufele for his outstanding work in preparing this report, and for his seamless transition leading this effort.
I’d also like to take a minute to thank the rest of our outstanding Board of Revenue Estimates’ staff, along with the Revenue Monitoring Committee, for their tireless efforts that go into producing these estimates.
Mr. Schaufele and his team’s fine work is empirical confirmation of the reality that most Maryland families and small businesses are experiencing. We continue to grapple with the most anemic economic recovery in generations and confusing singular snippets of positive news out of context fails to appreciate the larger economic picture.
For starters, the expiration of the payroll tax holiday has delivered quite a noticeable blow to workers' paychecks and coupled with escalating gas prices that have reached $4 a gallon in parts of our state, the working families and small businesses struggling most through these precarious economic times continue to be disproportionately affected.
This revenue write down of $115.3 million assumes that despite Congress’ inability to reach a deal by the March 1 deadline, the draconian cuts associated with sequestration will ultimately be averted and replaced by smaller, alternative cuts that will spare Maryland from the potential economic disaster that would otherwise ensue.
The assumption that Maryland will lose 12,600 jobs pales in comparison to the 65,000 jobs, on the low end, and as many as 120,000 jobs that experts project Maryland could lose if no compromise is reached.
With total federal spending in the state equivalent to one-third of the Maryland economy, we are heavily reliant upon Washington’s direct, indirect and induced economic benefits. Consequently, the Board of Revenue Estimates continues to closely monitoring what happens in Washington.
While the gross numbers are important, the specifics within this report demonstrate a far more telling story. Far too many Marylanders are taking home less pay at a time when their living costs are rising, meaning they have less discretionary income to spend in an economy that’s primarily based on consumer behavior.
It’s particularly troubling that $85.5 million of the projected decline, the vast majority of it in fact, comes from our broadest and most indicative economic indicator, sales and use tax. Additionally, and just as troubling, nearly $77 million of the $115.3 million write down is for Fiscal Year 2013.
So, far less important than having $115 million less revenue than we expected to spend on our priorities, this means that the economic pain and suffering in the Maryland economy is being felt immediately and virtually across the board.
There’s just no way to gloss over how fragile the Maryland economy remains.
Our employment levels have yet to reach their pre-recession levels. We are ranked forty-sixth in the country in year-over-year private sector wage growth. We simply are not out of the woods from the lingering economic challenges and uncertainty following a recession whose magnitude and depth we haven’t experienced in our lifetimes.
Now, more than ever, we need to proceed with an exceedingly cautious mindset, and avoid policy decisions that would take money out of the pockets of consumers and make employers increasingly reluctant to invest capital in our state.
The bottom line is that we simply cannot afford to cause further uncertainty to a weakened Maryland economy.
In the long-term, I remain as optimistic as ever that Maryland’s economic bones are strong and resilient, from world-class education and research to an underlying entrepreneurial spirit that’s constantly resetting the limits of innovation.
But as is so evident in this report, Maryland’s economy is exceptionally fragile and we must remain exceedingly cautious.
While we share hope about our prospects for compromise in Washington that averts devastating consequences and for a lasting economic recovery that takes hold sooner rather than later, I remind my colleagues that hope is not an economic strategy.
I continue to be proud of our battle-tested leadership that has capably led this state through these years of economic and fiscal uncertainty.
I remain confident that Maryland’s story will have a happy ending. Until then, however, the difficult work endures and as Maryland’s chief fiscal stewards, we must continue to exercise tremendous caution and restraint.”
Annapolis, Md. (February 28, 2013) –Comptroller Peter Franchot hosted a press conference in support of legislation that would provide resources to ensure a School Resource Officers (SROs) in public schools throughout Maryland.
The provisions in HB 165 and SB 807 are in reaction to the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, last December, as well as an August 2012 shooting that occurred at Perry Hall High School. The bills would require each county superintendent to enter into an agreement with an appropriate law enforcement agency to provide a full-time school resource officer to each public elementary and secondary school; provide additional funding required for school resource officers to be paid from the Education Trust Fund. The companion legislation -- which would be an emergency measure -- has bipartisan co-sponsorship in both chambers.
“There's no good reason why every school in Maryland shouldn't have a trained, armed resource officer. We have no obligation more fundamental than keeping our kids safe from harm," Comptroller Franchot said. "We just can't afford to let politics get in the way of protecting our children."
"As we are still feeling the shock and horror of the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, I felt it necessary to take action to improve the safety of our schools,” says Delegate Cluster. “Many Maryland jurisdictions already have SROs, but HB 165 and SB 807 would place an active police officer in every school.”
“As a father, I am focused on keeping our schools safe for our children,” he said. “By putting an armed officer in every school, Senate Bill 807 will assure the fastest response to a gun threat and have an immediate and positive impact on the children’s safety,” says Senator Pipkin.
The event attendees heard from a retired school principal, law enforcement officials and concerned parents on how the proposed bills will help keep our schools safe.
The hearing for both bills was held Thursday afternoon. For more information on HB 165 and SB 807 please visit http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=billpage&tab=subject3...
Annapolis, Md. (January 24, 2013)-The new year is here and just as consumers are getting used to writing 2013 on checks, it’s time to start thinking about tax season. Comptroller Peter Franchot shared some important information today to assist taxpayers in completing their personal income tax returns.
This year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has pushed back the start date for filing personal current-year tax returns to January 30, and Maryland is following suit. Neither paper nor electronic returns will be processed prior to that date. The filing deadline for 2012 tax returns is Monday, April 15.
“We have less than three months until the April 15 tax filing deadline and my agency is available to help any taxpayer with questions or problems,” said Comptroller Franchot. “I’m very proud of the work my staff does to help taxpayers year round, but especially during tax season. My agency makes filing state taxes as easy as possible by offering forms online and providing free help and e-filing at any of the 12 branch offices.”
There are a few changes and tips for filing 2012 returns:
Tax Booklets - Tax booklets, forms and instructions are available from the Comptroller’s Website at www.marylandtaxes.com. Taxpayers can find a limited supply of 2012 tax booklets at various libraries throughout the state, as well as at any of the Comptroller’s branch offices. Taxpayers may also request a tax booklet by calling (410) 260-7951 or by email to email@example.com .
Hours – Branch offices will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, including Presidents’ Day (February 18). Offices will also have extended hours on Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 15, to help taxpayers fill out and electronically file their tax forms for free.
Libraries and Post Offices – The Comptroller’s Office no longer supplies all local post offices with tax booklets. We have sent a limited supply of tax booklets to requesting libraries.
What is needed to file - Before taxpayers file a Maryland income tax return, they are required to complete a federal income tax return. Often the same documentation required to complete the federal income tax return is also required to complete the Maryland return. Additionally, supporting documentation for Maryland credits and modifications may be necessary for preparing the Maryland return. For more information on credits, modifications and necessary documentation please go to http://individuals.marylandtaxes.com/taxforms/12forms.asp .
Discarding old returns - Generally, taxpayers should keep tax records for at least three years from the date of filing a return or filing deadline, whichever is later.
New Income Tax Rates – The Maryland General Assembly has approved new income tax rates and rate brackets for individuals for all tax years beginning after December 31, 2011. See Instruction 17 in the resident tax booklet for the new tax rate schedules.
Local Tax Rate Changes - For tax year 2012, Anne Arundel County has decreased its local tax rate to 2.49% and Queen Anne's County has increased its local tax rate to 3.20%. For tax year 2013, Anne Arundel County has increased its local tax rate back to 2.56%; Talbot County has increased its rate to 2.40%; and Wicomico Count has increased its rate to 3.20%.
Personal Exemption Amount - The exemption amount of $3,200 begins to be phased out if a taxpayer’s federal adjusted gross income is more than $100,000 ($150,000 for joint taxpayers). The $3,200 exemption is phased out entirely when the income exceeds $150,000 ($200,000 for joint taxpayers). See Instruction 10 in the Resident tax booklet for the reduced amounts. The additional exemption of $1,000 remains the same for age and blindness.
Dependent Form 502B – This form will be required to be attached to Form 502, Form 505 and Form 515 to determine what exemptions a taxpayer is entitled to claim. Taxpayers claiming more than two dependents on Form 503 must use Form 502.
Increased pension exclusion - Maryland's maximum pension exclusion, which is available to qualifying taxpayers 65 or older, increased from $26,300 to $27,100 for tax year 2012.
Earned Income Tax Credit - Effective January 1, 2012, the Comptroller is required to publish the maximum income eligibility for the state earned income tax credit (EITC) on or before January 1 of each year. The Comptroller shall also notify the employers of such information, and the employers must notify each employee who may be eligible.
Subtraction Modifications - There are three new subtraction modifications created by the Maryland General Assembly for tax year 2012:
o Gain resulting from a payment from the Maryland Department of Transportation as a result of the acquisition of a portion of the property on which your principal residence is located,
o Qualified conservation program expenses up to $500 for an application approved by the Department of Natural Resources to enter into a Forest Conservation and Management Plan,
o Payment received as a result of a foreclosure settlement negotiated by the Maryland Attorney General.
Farmers and Fishermen – The Comptroller will recognize the federal extension of the due date of the fourth quarter 2012 estimated tax payment from March 1, 2013 to April 15, 2013 for farmers and fishermen.
“In the interest of saving taxpayer money, and helping the environment, I always encourage every taxpayer to electronically file their returns,” said the Comptroller. “E-filing guarantees a faster refund than sending it through the mail. Plus, it saves Maryland nearly $2 in processing costs. Since its inception in 1990, e-filing has saved the state nearly $26.5 million in processing returns overall. As always, each of the 12 branch offices throughout the state will assist you in completing and filing your tax return for free.”
For more information on the IRS pushing back the filing start date, please visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Plans-Jan.-30-Tax-Season-Opening-For.... For more information on filing Maryland taxes, please visit http://individuals.marylandtaxes.com/incometax/taxseason.asp or call 1-800-MD-TAXES.
"Same-sex couples in the State of Maryland – whether married in this state or in other states – will have the opportunity to file joint tax returns for Tax Year 2013, and will receive the same state tax treatment as any married couple. This will occur either as a result of a legislative action, or if necessary, a regulatory change, either of which is necessary because Maryland’s tax code is conjoined to the IRS unless specifically decoupled. My senior staff and I will work with legislative leaders over the next few weeks to determine the most appropriate course of action.
I proudly testified in strong support of the Civil Marriage Protection Act and remain a steadfast supporter of marriage equality. Honoring Maryland’s hard-earned reputation for fairness and equality, this change will afford same-sex couples with the rights and protections commensurate with their obligations as taxpayers.”
As we approach the heart of the holiday season and the end of 2012, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued friendship. Indeed, I have so much to be thankful for this year – from my good health and wonderful family, to the support of so many good friends and the opportunity to serve the people of Maryland in what is undoubtedly the best job I have ever had.
In that spirit of sincere gratitude, I would also like to let you know that I have decided to seek re-election as Comptroller of Maryland in 2014. This is a decision that I have made after a great deal of personal reflection, and with the sound and thoughtful advice of my wife, Anne, and my two children, Abbe and Nick. It is no secret that in recent months, I have given thought to running for governor. I am humbled by the extraordinary support that my prospective campaign received in every corner of our state, and I am now more convinced than ever that there is a shared desire among Marylanders – irrespective of ideology or party affiliation – for an honest conversation of the fiscal and economic challenges that still lie ahead.
I look forward to engaging in that conversation from my office in the Goldstein Treasury Building. I have developed an abiding love for a Comptroller’s Office that has been recognized as the best in the nation, and is admired throughout the State of Maryland for its high standards of efficiency and professionalism.
Like so many people on my team, I have devoted my career to providing businesses and families with the exceptional customer service they deserve, while ensuring that everybody pays their fair share of taxes. At the same time, I have relished the opportunity to serve as an independent voice and a tough fiscal watchdog for the taxpayers – whether by opposing wasteful spending on the Board of Public Works, fighting to hold the line on state debt, protecting tax filers from fraudulent preparers, or leading by example and doing a better job for less money within my own office.
After nearly six years as Comptroller, it is still a profound honor to hold the office that once belonged to the likes of J. Millard Tawes, Louis Goldstein and William Donald Schaefer. By their words and actions, those Maryland giants set a timeless standard for honorable public service that is still reflected in the Comptroller’s Office today. My goal is to do my job and lead the Comptroller’s Office in a manner that honors their shared legacy.
Accordingly, I am looking forward to the year ahead with great anticipation. Thanks to my exceptional team of professionals, I expect to move closer than ever before to a paper-free tax filing season (and will remind you that by filing electronically, you can help my office save taxpayer money while ensuring that you receive your refund within three business days).
We also look forward to doing our part to create a level playing field, as well as a fair and predictable regulatory environment, for Maryland businesses that employ local people and reinvest in local communities. I will continue to advocate for a course in financial literacy as a high school graduation requirement. Finally, I shall continue to respect the sacrifice of Maryland’s taxpayers by ensuring that their hard-earned money is spent wisely, and by opposing initiatives that, however well-intentioned, would further weaken an economy that remains fundamentally fragile. These are neither Democratic nor Republican priorities – these are Maryland priorities that are rooted in sheer common sense. As always, I welcome and look forward to your feedback and advice on these important issues.
In closing, I would again like to thank you for your friendship and support, while wishing you and your family a peaceful holiday season.