February 21, 2021
In This Newsletter:

  • Message from Susan

  • Governor signs Emergency RELIEF ACT of 2021

  • How To Report Possible Fraud in our Unemployment System

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Information - Carroll County providing transportation if needed

  • Supporting Police & Resource Officers

  • Education Supplemental Budget for Additional Resources

  • Delegate Scholarship Applications Now Available
Message from Susan
We continue to move in a positive direction with regards to vaccines, positivity rates, and reopening. As more Marylanders are vaccinated and our positivity rate continues to decline, it is imperative that we get our businesses, schools, churches and other routines back in operation. When everyone can get back to work and our economy is able to work for all sectors- we will then eliminate the need for taxpayer funded stimulus caused by the pandemic’s disruption to our economy and our lives.
 
Unfortunately, not everyone has weathered the storm equally- many small businesses are still suffering and many individuals are still out of work. Governor Hogan’s emergency bipartisan Relief Act of 2021 is targeted at those small businesses and families who are still trying to dig out of the hole that the pandemic has dug.
 
Our unemployment system is still overwhelmed and many frustrated individuals have contacted our office. The signups for the vaccine are challenging since we are not receiving enough vaccines to meet the demand. Please be patient- there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel.
 
There is a lot of information(links) in our newsletter that we hope is helpful to you as you navigate these uncertain times. These are the same links we use to get information- which is constantly changing.
 
Susan
RELIEF Act of 2021
RELIEF FOR MARYLANDERS
 
DIRECT STIMULUS PAYMENTS FOR LOW TO MODERATE-INCOME MARYLANDERS
This relief begins with immediate payments of $500 for families and $300 for individuals for taxpayers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit in Tax Year 2019, and reside in or have permanent residence in Maryland as of February 12, 2021.
 
 
Or call 1-833-345-0787 or email ReliefAct@marylandtaxes.gov for more assistance.
 
Those who qualify for a RELIEF Act stimulus payment will be automatically processed either via direct deposit or paper checks unless their address on file is not verifiable with the U.S. Postal Service.
 
 

RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
 
IMMEDIATE SALES TAX CREDITS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
The RELIEF Act makes a nearly $200 million commitment to supporting small businesses with sales tax credits of up to $3,000 per month for three months - for a total of up to $9,000.
 
This relief is automatic and based on a sliding scale up to $3,000. For example, if you are a business with $100,000 in monthly revenue and you collect $6,000 in sales taxes, you only remit $3,000. If you have $50,000 in monthly revenue and you collect $3,000 in sales taxes, you keep all $3,000.
 
UNEMPLOYMENT TAX RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Governor Hogan issued an executive order to prevent small businesses from facing major increases in their unemployment taxes. Under this order, an employer's 2021 tax rate will be calculated based on their non-pandemic experience by excluding the 2020 fiscal year, and instead by using the last three fiscal years of 2017, 2018, and 2019.
 
In addition, it would allow small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 50 employees to defer unemployment insurance tax payments in calendar year 2021 to January 2022.
 
 
COVID-19 LOAN AND GRANT FORGIVENESS, ADDITIONAL RELIEF FUNDS
The RELIEF Act's loan and grant forgiveness plan would safeguard Maryland business owners against any tax increase triggered by the use of state loan or grant funds. This relief would come at a net zero cost to the state.

MORE SUPPORT FOR UNEMPLOYED MARYLANDERS
Marylanders awaiting unemployment insurance adjudication will be sent $1,000 grants once the state Department of Labor sends the Comptroller’s Office a list of recipients. 
The RELIEF Act also includes waiving state income taxes on Unemployment Insurance income received during 2020 and 2021 for single filers who report under $75,000 in income and joint filers who report under $100,000. Taxpayers who have already filed their 2020 State tax returns can file an amended return for a full refund of Maryland state income taxes on those UI benefits.

More Information on the RELIEF ACT OF 2021.

RELIEF ACT of 2021 - Frequently Asked Questions
Unemployment Fraud
Fraudulent Unemployment Insurance Activity
Report Fraud

With the record number of unemployment insurance claims filed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland, and states across the entire country, have seen an increase in activity by bad actors and fraudsters using illegally obtained data to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. Please note that there has been NO breach in our BEACON unemployment system.

If you believe that your information has been used to fraudulently file an unemployment insurance claim, please contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance’s Benefit Payment Control Unit by completing a “Request for Investigation of Unemployment Insurance Fraud” form and e-mailing it to ui.fraud@maryland.gov.

If you received a 1099-G tax form, but did not apply for unemployment insurance benefits in Maryland in 2020, then please complete this Affidavit form and submit it along with picture ID to the Benefit Payment Control Unit by e-mailing dlui1099-labor@maryland.gov.

If you are an employer and believe a fraudulent claim has been charged to your account, please file a benefit charge protest through your employer portal.

If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, please read the Maryland State Police's Identity Theft Protection Quick Guide. For more information about identity theft, please visit the Commissioner of Financial Regulation identity theft page.
For More Information on COVID-19 VACCINE, including vaccination sites close to you,
Transportation Available to
Vaccine Clinics
Carroll Transit System (CTS) is available and eager to transport residents with transportation issues to Carroll County COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

Police & School Resource Officers
Please Work WITH Our Law Enforcement Officers!
 
Over the past few weeks, many of you contacted me concerning the so-called “police reform” proposed legislation. One specifically targeted was SB627 Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights - Repeal and Procedures for DisciplineI thank you for weighing in on this very important issue, especially those who aid and sacrifice for us all- your testimony and service is appreciated. I assure you that members of our law enforcement community are valued and respected in Carroll County and we will be certain to protect the rights of our citizens along with ensuring the safety and integrity of our law enforcement.
 
A few years ago, after a mass shooting in a Maryland school, the Legislature mandated School Resource Officers (SROs) in all of our public schools. In Carroll County, our Board of Education implemented this in partnership with our Sheriff's office and it has been very successful. Unfortunately, in some areas of the state, there is a lot of negativity and conflict with their own law enforcement. Legislation has been proposed to prohibit SROs in our schools.
This is very short sighted. The expansion of mental health services in our schools is applauded but not at the expense of our SROs.
  
“Police officers often patrol the hallways of our school building. We are so grateful for their smiles and helpfulness. They are truly superheroes!!
 
 Local jurisdictions should have the flexibility to do what works best for their own districts and I will continue to work with our Carroll County Board of Education, Sherriff DeWees and States Attorney Brian DeLeonardo fight for what is best for Carroll County.
EDUCATION
Governor Hogan submits $1.5 Billion Supplemental Budget
Focused on Education
 
Additional Resources to Support Safe Reopening of Schools, Child Care, Local Health Departments, and
Housing Counseling
 
 
Highlights of the $1.59 billion supplemental budget include:
 
·       $931 million in funding for local school systems in support and targeted assistance for the safe reopening of public schools.
 
·       $434 million in additional funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Pandemic EBT program.
 
·       $128 million to support the state’s Child Care Scholarship program, including almost $60 million to help support licensed child care providers recover from the impact of the pandemic.
 
·       In addition, the supplemental budget provides $9 million to support local health departments and $1 million for Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development to support the Maryland Housing Counseling Fund.
 
Scholarship Application Available for
High School Seniors!
Scholarship Applications are now available

Scholarships are for Carroll County High School Seniors who will be attending a Maryland College or University in Fall 2021.

Deadline is: March 31, 2021
Please note that due to the slow U.S. Postal Service, we will also accept emailed application packets.
COVID-19 Resources
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Phone: 410-841-3200

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