Faster depreciation of business computers

Maryland Watch

November 23, 1996

Owners of business computers will get a break beginning Jan. 1, when Maryland adopts faster depreciation schedules for computers that will cut their owners' personal property taxes.

All but four Maryland counties tax business personal property, as does Baltimore City, said Ronald W. Weinholt, director of the state Department of Assessments and Taxation.

But state officials believed the former policy of assuming that computers lose 20 percent of their value each year, until their owners pay taxes on only 25 percent of their cost, was not keeping up with how fast new technology is making old computers obsolete.

The new rules allow businesses to write off 30 percent of computers' and software's value each year, to a floor of 10 percent of their original cost. The faster write-offs, which the assessment department said will save the owner of a typical PC $30 in taxes over the machine's life, apply only to computers costing less than $500,000.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening issued a statement saying the move was designed to be part of overall efforts to cut business taxes and regulatory costs.

Pub Date: 11/23/96

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