Small Business Owners Voice Ideas to Improve Maryland Business C - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Small Business Owners Voice Ideas to Improve Maryland Business Climate

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(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)

SALISBURY, Md. -- Business and economy experts have been discussing ways to make Maryland more attractive to businesses both big and small.

One area being examined is taxes, an area that some Salisbury business owners feel needs to be a top priority.

At Phoenix Rising Comics and Games in Salisbury neon sale signs decorate the store but not everything will sell.

Wilkins says in the three years he's been open, there's one issue he's noticed with the merchandise he doesn't sell.

"I don't want to pay taxes on them at the end of the year," said Wilkins. "If I don't sell them by December 31 my choices are to pay taxes on them or to get rid of it."

Wilkins says a state tax he has to pay on unsold merchandise annually is something that should be eliminated for small business owners.  Just one way to make Maryland a little more business friendly.

"If they could somehow alleviate the inventory tax at the end of the year instead of counting it as an asset, just count it as a business expense so we don't have to pay taxes on it until we sell it. That would be huge," said Wilkins.

The Maryland Economic Development and Business Climate Commission has been discussing ways to enhance the state's business climate in Annapolis.

Executive Director for the Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development David Ryan explains.

"When you talk about business climate, typically you talk about the taxation structure," said Ryan. "Typically, especially for us on the shore as it relates to egg and poultry, the regulatory environment."

Some of Maryland's small business owners say paying the same taxes as big retailers isn't helpful to their success.

"Ultimately you want to get down to your existing customers, you want to get down to your existing businesses," said Ryan. 

"I don't think new businesses want anything other than what existing businesses want. So if you can satisfy, cater to and accommodate the existing business base, perhaps that's the best attraction for new businesses to our state," said the director. 

Though even with some concerns, Wilkins says his location is worth what he pays in taxes.

"I think the really good thing about the area is we have the college, so there's a lot of traffic especially when college is in," said Wilkins.

The commission expects to give lawmakers a report outlining state and local business-related taxes and tax incentives in September.

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