Rehrmann proposes tax credit for recycling equipment Idea among suggestions to delegation

January 24, 1993|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Staff Writer

Harford's County executive says she's come up with a plan to offer a financial incentive to companies for using more recycled materials in manufacturing -- without costing the state a cent.

Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann wants to create a tax credit for the equipment needed to reprocess recyclables and turn them into forms that can be used in manufacturing.

"This would set a precedent in the state and help create markets for recycled materials," she said.

Mrs. Rehrmann pitched her idea to Harford's General Assembly delegation Friday. The tax credit would

cover equipment described as a company's "personal property" -- equipment not used in the manufacture of goods. Assets other than land or a building also are considered a company's personal property.

In September, Mrs. Rehrmann sought to grant businesses an income tax credit for investing in the equipment. But some members of the delegation objected because money collected from business income taxes is shared with the state, which has )) serious financial woes and would lose money.

Special equipment is needed to turn raw plastics, aluminum and other recyclables into a form that can be used in manufacturing, said James M. Jewell, county treasurer. For many businesses, it is often cheaper to invest in traditional equipment and to buy materials in the most readily usable form, he said.

The personal property tax credit for investing in equipment to convert recyclables into a form that could be used in the next step of manufacturing could benefit companies such as Clorox Co., which makes its own bleach bottles from plastic at its Perryman plant.

Mrs. Rehrmann suggested the delegates consider introducing a statewide bill, instead of one covering only Harford.

She also sought the delegation's support for permission to grant a property tax credit on Harford property preserved under an agricultural preservation program. She has not said how much either the agricultural property tax credit or the recycling tax credit would be.

The executive also asked the delegation to support a bond bill that would be used to provide $1.9 million to Harford Community College for a business and industry training center; $326,000 for an expansion of the county's jail, and $750,000 to renovate a house for the county's Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center.

The delegation remained non-committal on most of Mrs. Rehrmann's proposals, but agreed to go to bat for state money to pay for construction of a 300-student addition to Bel Air Middle School. The county's Board of Education is scheduled to plead the case for the expansion Wednesday before the Board of Public Works.

The delegation also plans, for the second straight year, to introduce at the executive's request legislation that would prevent newly elected sheriffs from arbitrarily dismissing high-ranking employees upon taking office.

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