The Maryland General Assembly convenes today for a special session to revisit the “doomsday” budget enacted by default at the end of the General Session when the House and Senate could not agree on a budget bill. Under the current budget, cuts scheduled to take effect on July 1 will have a major impact on education, health programs, and state employees, and will slash state aid to Baltimore, Prince George’s, and Montgomery counties.

Among the proposals the General Assembly will now consider during what is expected to be a three-day session are: the elimination of the deferral of recordation taxes on IDOTs (indemnity deeds of trusts); a $250 million income tax increase targeted at the highest-earning 16 percent of Marylanders; and a phased-in, four-year shift of part of teacher pension costs to local jurisdictions.

IDOTs have been used for decades in Maryland to defer recordation taxes on commercial financing transactions. As reported in our March 2012 alert, "IDOTs at Risk in the Maryland Legislature," repeated efforts to tax IDOTs have failed in the past several years. This year, when a similar measure was included in the Governor’s omnibus budget bill, it achieved a level of support in both the Senate and the House for the first time. The measure is anticipated to be approved during the special session and will apply to all transactions over $500,000.

The special session will not deal with the proposal to expand casino gambling in Maryland at National Harbor in Prince George’s County. The Governor may call a second special session to address that issue, depending on the outcome of the budget debate.

Feel free to contact any of the real estate practitioners in Ballard Spahr’s Bethesda offices for advice on IDOT issues. We will keep you updated on the special session.

Roger D. Winston | 301.664.6201 |
Timothy P. Martin | 301.664.6203 |
Shelah F. Lynn | 301.664.6204 |  

Copyright © 2012 by Ballard Spahr LLP.
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