January 19, 2021

Governor Hogan Proposes $1 Billion RELIEF Act

Governor Hogan Press Conference – January 19, 2021


Economic Recovery Budget

  • Immediate tax and economic relief to families and businesses in need.
  • Record investments in top priorities.
  • Lays a fiscally responsible foundation for strong recovery.

The budget is 100% balanced with NO tax increases, layoffs, or cuts to essential services.

Maintaining Reserves

  • Allows us to preserve AAA bond rating.
  • Ensures we remain prepared during what could be the most challenging months of the pandemic while still providing relief.


The Relief Act of 2021: $1 Billion Tax and Stimulus Relief

Proposing $1 billion in tax cuts to help every single retired Marylander

The $1 Billion RELIEF Act. The Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families Act includes the following economic stimulus and tax relief:

  • $270 million – Provides direct stimulus payments for low-to-moderate income Marylanders, with benefits of up to $750 for families and $450 for individuals. This relief begins with immediate payments of $500 for families and $300 for individuals who filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit, followed by a second-round stimulus for EITC filers that would provide an additional $250 for eligible families and $150 for individuals. This relief will directly help more than 400,000 Marylanders. Similar to federal stimulus payments, no application for relief is necessary.
  • $180 million – Repeals all state and local income taxes on unemployment benefits, providing further support and assistance for Marylanders who have lost their jobs.
  • $300 million – Supports small businesses with sales tax credits of up to $3,000 per month for four months— for a total of up to $12,000—freeing-up much needed resources to protect payrolls and sustain operations. This relief will directly help more than 55,000 Maryland small businesses.
  • $218 million – Extends unemployment tax relief for small businesses, staving off sudden and substantial tax hikes in 2021. This provision codifies an emergency order the governor issued last month.
  • $40 million – Safeguards Maryland businesses against any tax increase triggered by the use of state loan or grant funds.

Tax Relief for Retirees

  • Expands the Hometown Heroes tax cut to exempt law enforcement, fire and rescue, corrections, and emergency response from state tax on retirement income.
  • Increases the tax exemption on all military retiree pensions.

Top economic priority is ensuring Marylanders can keep more of their hard earned money in their pockets.

Record Funding for Education

  • Historically high $7.5 billion for K-12.
  • $213 million above and beyond legislative spending formulas.
  • Every single school system will see increased investment by the state.
  • $375 million from casino lockbox.
  • $151 million for targeted tutoring.
  • $53 million to expand full-day Pre-K.
  • $10 million for BOOST program.
  • $411 million for higher education projects.
  • Major projects at all HBCUs.
  • Record funding for community colleges.
  • Holding the line on tuition increases.

Providing a record $833 million in additional school construction funding to fulfill every funding request in every jurisdiction.


  • $1 billion for roads and highways.
  • $1 billion for mass transit.
  • Transformative Howard Street Tunnel Project.


  • Fully funded Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.
  • Fully funded Program Open Space
  • $43 million for renewable energy
  • $14 million for energy efficiency

Public Health and Safety

  • $74.6 million for police aid to local governments.
  • $43.7 million for local law enforcement grants.
  • $5 million to support crime prevention, prosecution, and witness protection in Baltimore City.
  • $250 million to provide direct care services to youth and support comprehensive juvenile crime strategy.
  • $9.6 million in savings through Criminal Justice Reform Act.
  • $978 million for mental health and substance abuse programs in response to heroin and opioid epidemic.
  • Increases funding for local health departments.
  • Expands resources for developmental disability services and in-home care for the elderly.

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