As included in today’s “Morning Notes,” a group of Maryland State Senators is pushing a bill that would exempt defense contractor Lockheed Martin from paying about $450,000 a year in hotel taxes and force Montgomery County to refund $1.4 million in taxes collected since 2010 on Lockheed’s Center for Leadership Excellence.
County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) has proposed a tax break and grant for Lockheed. Both failed to gain the support of the County Council.
The Bethesda-based company argues the Center, which includes conference rooms, a restaurant and lodging, should not be subject to the county’s commercial hotel tax because it is used for employees only.
County councilmembers against Leggett’s past proposals argued the hotel tax does legally apply to the Center, Lockheed knew of the tax when it built the facility, the Center competes with other commercial hotels that do pay the tax and that money is needed to pay for county services.
Still others, including the Washington Post editorial board last year, argued members of the Council were allowing peace activists against Lockheed to mask the economic benefit the company brings to the county.
Now, led by State Senator Nancy King (D-Dist. 39), a group of senators is advancing a measure that would exempt facilities such as Lockheed’s Center from such payments and force Montgomery County to refund past taxes.
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Flickr photo by kgunnar