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MD Legislative Update

Maryland’s General Assembly adjourned Wednesday, cut short by the COVID-19 crisis.  Legislators passed a digital advertising tax (HB 732), which will tax digital advertising impressions in the state sold by a company on a tiered scale based on the global gross annual revenues from all sources.  Sound confusing?  It is.  MDDC believes it will add significant costs to advertising in the state, just at a time when businesses will be struggling to recover from the coronavirus epidemic.  We are working in concert with local and national advocates on next steps.  Ballard Spahr, who also runs our legal hotline, has an excellent explainer on the tax.
Additionally, legislators passed a digital downloads and subscription tax, which will affect digital subscriptions of newspapers, magazines and more.  Print subscriptions are already subject to sales tax.
MDDC was able to preserve the printed notice of the abandoned property notice, which runs in newspapers around the state. 
Unfortunately, our two signature bills, HB 502 / SB 590 and HB 379 / SB1042, did not get out of committee, primarily due to the truncated session.  HB 502 would have expanded the jurisdiction of the Public Information Act compliance board to issue binding resolution in a variety of disputes, and HB 379 would have strengthened Maryland’s anti-SLAPP statute. 
Delaware’s session is indefinitely postponed.

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