Equitable and Fair Government For Taxpayers
Maryland has one of the most dynamic economies in the nation, but opportunities to share in the economy’s gains have proven to be unequal. While Marylanders in wealthier and more educated communities reap unprecedented wealth from the state’s growth, residents in rural communities or black and brown neighborhoods are too often left wondering how to get a good job without investment in their communities or even basic transportation services.
As a businessman and Mayor, Tim knows firsthand how lives can be transformed when luck, hard work, and the right infrastructure align to create opportunity. But in a healthy economy, luck shouldn’t stand between hard-working Marylanders and getting a job or starting a business. The state government has basic responsibilities to residents to invest in modern infrastructure and tax payment systems, conserve natural resources and environmental quality, and ensure state investment and procurement is conducted fairly and inclusively. In all of these responsibilities, Maryland is currently falling short. To help protect taxpayers, modernize and diversify Maryland’s economy, Tim has outlined the following policy commitments:
Equal and Equitable Access For Minority and Women Owned Businesses
- Tim founded one of the largest black owned businesses in the nation. He is uniquely qualified to ensure equity and fairness for minority owned businesses. As a member of the Board of Public Works, which approves most government contracts in excess of $200,000, Tim will ensure that state agencies and contractors are honoring both the letter and the spirit of Maryland’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) law as a condition for his approval.
- Maryland’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program calls for 29% of state procurement to be awarded to businesses owned by racial minorities, women, disadvantaged people, and people with disabilities. The state has not even reached 20% since Fiscal Year 2017. In FY2020, the most recent year reported, 14.1% of procurement dollars were awarded to MBEs, not even half of the MBE Program’s goal. Maryland is trending in the wrong direction.
- As Comptroller, Tim will open an MBE Compliance and Analysis office to analyze proposals before the BPW for their impact on the MBE Program’s goals. The office’s recommendations would inform Tim’s votes and call public attention to ongoing failure to meet MBE goals.
- Tim will advocate for legislation which substantially increases resources to the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs to increase outreach to eligible MBE applicants and increase the pace of MBE certification.
- Tim will advocate for legislation to create an MBE startup assistance program to help entrepreneurs who are minorities, women, disadvantaged, or have disabilities manage all compliance issues in the startup phase of their business. The program would provide case managers to advocate for these entrepreneurs to relevant government agencies, registering their business, securing a Tax ID, necessary licensure, and MBE certification.
- As the next Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the State Retirement and Pension Systems of Maryland, Tim will ensure that the Board of Trustees redouble its efforts to hire emerging and successful minority fund managers to manage assets.
Eliminate Barriers For Working Families To Access Tax Benefits and Credits
- Tim will call on the legislature to approve a return-free filing system for families with no investment income who make less than $100,000.
- Eligible families would simply fill out a questionnaire to determine eligibility for benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and receive a bill telling them exactly what they owe. A taxpayer can agree to the amount or dispute the bill.
- If a taxpayer disagrees with the bill, they will file a simple return at no additional penalty or late fee.
Shutdown Financial Predators and Cybercriminals Who Scam Taxpayers
- Tim appreciates the leadership that the Maryland Comptroller’s Office has demonstrated in the fight against unethical tax preparers, which primarily target financially vulnerable taxpayers and low-to-moderate income communities. He will sustain that commitment and invest what is needed to identify, shut down and prosecute these insidious financial predators.
- Recognizing that tax fraud is a multibillion-dollar criminal enterprise that profits off the financial ruin of innocent people, Tim will devote all of the personnel, legal and technological resources necessary to protect Marylanders, and our hard-earned money, from cybercriminals.