Comptroller Franchot Announces Beat the Bay Bridge Blues Policy for Agency Employees

Flexible and compressed schedules, telecommuting and incentive to carpool offered to Shore commuters

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (October 2, 2019) -Several days into a multi-year rehabilitation project on the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge that has already caused massive delays for Eastern Shore commuters, Comptroller Peter Franchot has announced a comprehensive new strategy – Beat the Bay Bridge Blues.

The voluntary program, effective October 7, offers Eastern Shore residents who work in Annapolis or Baltimore several options to more efficiently travel to and from their jobs. They include allowing affected employees, where applicable, to:

  • Flexible Scheduling. Employees can work five days a week, with staggered start times. This will allow some employees to start earlier or later in the workday, thereby avoiding most of the major rush hour delays in crossing the Bay Bridge;
  • Compressed Scheduling. Employees can work four, 10-hour days Monday through Thursday, with Friday off each week. The goal of this option is to reduce the number of vehicles on the Bay Bridge during the Friday commute;
  • Remote Work Location. Provide the opportunity, when available and appropriate, to allow some employees to work remotely at the agency’s Call Center or Branch office located in Salisbury; and,
  • Carpooling. Employees who carpool with at least four agency colleagues per vehicle for ten days will be awarded four hours of administrative leave.

“What happened last Friday within a 15-mile radius of the Bay Bridge is not acceptable and could have been avoided if there had been proper planning and communication in advance of this major multi-year project,” said Comptroller Franchot, following a discussion on the Bay Bridge project at the Board of Public Works meeting today. “For the sake of safety, health and workplace productivity, we are pleased to reduce the number of vehicles on the road while offering several attractive commuting options to our dedicated employees.”

These commuter relief options will continue throughout the duration of the bridge construction project.

“I hope other major employers follow our example to give their staff options to avoid what could be a long-term headache,” added Comptroller Franchot. “Furthermore, I hope MDOT immediately implements alternative options for those who rely upon the Bay Bridge. Our families, first responders and local businesses cannot afford the economic and human toll of catastrophic gridlock, nor should they.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:  

Susan O’Brien -  sobrien@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)

Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

William Donald Schaefer Award Nominations Due Monday

Comptroller will honor individuals and organizations improving communities, helping others in every county and Baltimore City

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (September 27, 2019) — Comptroller Peter Franchot reminds Marylanders that the deadline to submit nominations for the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award is Monday, September 30, 2019.

Established in 2012, the award honors the unparalleled legacy of public service left by former Mayor, Governor and Comptroller Schaefer and is presented in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City to individuals and organizations with an unwavering commitment to helping people.

“Maryland is full of selfless individuals and remarkable groups that prioritize the lives of others, fulfilling unmet needs to improve vulnerable communities,” said Comptroller Franchot, who will personally present the award to each recipient, beginning later this year. “Every year, I hear so many inspiring stories of people around our state doing amazing work that it’s become to difficult to pick just one winner in each jurisdiction.”

Award recipients will be selected on their demonstration of:

  • Improving the community;
  • Promptly responding to a citizen problem through effective government intervention;
  • Directly aiding our most vulnerable populations; or,
  • Establishing a public/private partnership to improve the lives of fellow Marylanders.

Nominations submitted in previous years but not selected may be re-sent. To submit your nomination, print out and complete this form and either fax it to 410-974-2045 or attach it as a pdf and email abrody@comp.state.md.us. For more information or for questions about the award, call 410-260-6346.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:  

Susan O’Brien -  sobrien@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)

Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Board of Revenue Estimates Approves $130 Million Increase in Fiscal Year 2020 Projections

Panel cautions that small uptick is not indicative of long-term economic growth

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (September 19, 2019) - The Board of Revenue Estimates (BRE) unanimously voted today to increase the revenue projection for the State of Maryland for Fiscal Year 2020 by $130 million and to set the first projections for Fiscal Year 2021 at $19.1 billion.

Comptroller Peter Franchot, Treasurer Nancy Kopp and State Budget and Management Secretary David R. Brinkley, who comprise the BRE, noted that while overall revenues are up, that’s largely a reflection of a strong tax year in 2018 and not a harbinger of long-term economic growth.

Below are Comptroller Franchot’s remarks from the BRE meeting, as prepared for delivery:

“This write-up should not be taken as a stronger performance to come, as much of the increase is attributable to events that have already taken place, including a strong tax year in 2018.

“As we discussed with the release of last month’s closeout report, we saw stronger-than-expected capital gains – suggesting a continued reliance on the volatile income of nonwage earners. We also saw an increase in Sales and Use Tax revenues following the Wayfair decision that allowed states to collect sales tax from online remote sellers.

“But these numbers are belied by other, more concerning trends, such as the fact that we are again writing down our wage growth estimates.

“While we may be experiencing the longest-recorded period of economic growth at 122 consecutive months, the tight labor market is not generating the wage growth that it has in the past.

“Our top three industries – the federal government, information, and financial services – have contracted while lower-wage industries are growing. And there is a demographic shift in the workforce, as a generation of older employees retires and younger employees with lower salaries take their place.

“This bears weight not only on our income tax revenue, as you would imagine, but it also indirectly impacts sales tax revenue when people simply have less disposable income to spend.

“Of course, we’re also faced with more significant economic trends at the national level:

  • The inverted yield curve, which has preceded nearly every recession in modern U.S. history;
  • A ballooning federal deficit; and
  • Not the least of which, reckless and erratic trade policy from Washington.

“Each of these in their own right would demonstrate greater market volatility, but together it is impossible to deny that our economy is approaching a very tenuous inflection point, one that we would be foolish to ignore or not prepare for.

“That is why I have called on the Governor and the General Assembly to deposit the $216 million fund balance from Fiscal Year 2019 in our Rainy Day Fund.

“If we wish to invest in bold, new ideas, we must be just as creative and bold in how we fund them – without reaching deeper into the pockets of our taxpayers.

“In fact, today we released a new report from the Business Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) at Salisbury University that found starting school after Labor Day has a “clear, positive impact on both state and local economies” with a total net economic impact of up to $115 million.

“A Post-Labor Day start is good for our children, our small businesses and our state’s economy, and this is the kind of common-sense policy we should be considering. It increases revenue without adding another financial burden to Marylanders.

“The bottom line is when our future economic outlook is this uncertain, we must prioritize safeguarding taxpayers from these harder times by practicing fiscal restraint.

“I say this remembering, vividly, the tough choices Maryland and our hardworking families had to make as we weathered the Great Recession. As elected officials, we are entrusted to make the right decisions for our constituents, particularly when that means spending their hard-earned taxpayer dollars wisely. And we must show that we have learned our lesson from a decade ago.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:  

Susan O’Brien -  sobrien@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)

Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

New Post-Labor Day School Start Study Shows Significant Economic Impact

$115 million impact mirrors Maryland Bureau of Revenue Estimates forecast in 2013 report

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (September 19, 2019) - Starting school after Labor Day has “a clear, positive impact on both state and local government economies” with a total net economic impact of up to $115 million, according to a new analysis from the Business Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) at Salisbury University.

The report, entitled “The Economic, Employment and Fiscal Impacts Of Added Summer Vacation Days Attributable To Post-Labor Day Opening of Maryland’s Public K-12 Schools,” echoes an economic impact study conducted by the Maryland Bureau of Revenue Estimates in 2013, which forecast a significant increase in state and local tax revenues and wages resulting from a Post-Labor Day school start date.

“This independent analysis validates what we already know: starting school after Labor Day is good for Maryland families, good for our local businesses and good for the Maryland economy,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot. “At a time when the state is considering new sources of revenue for our public schools, this adds millions of dollars to our state’s coffers, all while supporting great family-owned, small businesses and sustaining summer employment.”

BEACON’s analysis found a total net economic impact — incorporating direct, indirect and induced benefits — of close to $58 million for six additional days of summer vacation and nearly $115 million for 12 extra days, depending upon when Labor Day falls on the calendar each year.

Additionally, the report estimates additional wages earned by workers to be between $2.875 million and $5.75 million during the final days of summer with local and state government revenues increasing between $8 million and $16 million, also depending upon the timing of Labor Day.

“Tourism is one of our state’s most important economic engines and is especially critical to areas like my hometown of Baltimore City, where the tourism industry is an even more significant employer and source of local revenue,” said Michael Haynie, a hotel management consultant, former chairman of the Maryland Tourism Coalition and a member of the Governor’s Task Force to Study a Post-Labor Day Start Date for Maryland Public Schools. “The extended summer also means more employment opportunities for our city’s youth before heading back to the classroom, providing much-needed family income and experience in a major job sector.”

The study’s findings are based on estimates that approximately 70 percent of all tourism-related expenditures statewide can be attributed to Maryland residents and data from tourism offices that show the majority of end-of-summer travel by Marylanders occurs within the state.

“I am thrilled to see the positive results and increased economic impact caused by a post-Labor Day school start in Maryland; however, I am not surprised,” said Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan. “Worcester County has accomplished a successful post-Labor Day start date for years and students in our schools have continued to thrive. In fact, our very own Ocean City Elementary School was named a Blue Ribbon School for a second time in 2018.”

“A post-Labor Day school start benefits all Marylanders. The hard work and dedication to this initiative displayed by Governor Hogan and Comptroller Franchot have not only allowed Maryland families to enjoy more summer vacation together, but has also increased our room tax revenue and allowed seasonal employees to work longer. It’s incredible to see how common sense and thoughtful planning can create such a positive change for us all,” added Meehan.

Tourism is the state’s 10th largest employment industry, supporting more than 200,000 jobs and producing over $15 billion, which represents four percent of the state’s total economy.

The nonpartisan task force, created by the Maryland General Assembly and appointed by then-Governor Martin O’Malley, recommended a post-Labor Day start by a vote of 12 to 3 in May 2014 after meeting for nearly a year to consider all aspects of the issue.

Public support for starting school after Labor Day has been strong and consistent throughout Maryland among teachers, parents and the business and agricultural community. More than 24,000 Marylanders signed the “Let Summer Be Summer” petition in 2016 — endorsing the initiative that has given families more time together, provided teachers and students with a longer break to recharge without impacting summer learning loss, and afforded rural Marylanders the opportunity to participate in the Maryland State Fair, which runs the 10 days prior to Labor Day each year.

“As a teacher, I know starting school after Labor Day not only is economically beneficial to our communities, it is crucial to the professional development and well-being of teachers and administrators,” said Baltimore County public school teacher Jeffrey Freedman. “Many teachers take coursework during the summer and need that time to complete that work while others value the time to unwind with their families and recharge. A post-Labor Day start helps us be the most successful, effective teachers we can be.”

An economic impact study conducted by the Bureau of Revenue Estimates in August 2013 projected a post-Labor Day school start would generate an additional $74.2 million in economic activity, including $3.7 million in new wages and a separate $7.7 million in state and local revenue. These findings mirror the study just concluded by BEACON, which will release its full analysis in October.

“This study confirms what teachers and parents have been saying for years: starting school after Labor Day is good for parents, students and Maryland’s economy,” said Denise Avara, a longtime public school mom and PTA leader. “I’ve listened to families, educators and owners of small businesses for a long time who called for a later start to school for very good reasons — mostly because it helps all of us.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:  

Susan O’Brien -  sobrien@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)

Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Maryland State Fairgoers Find More Than $271K in Unclaimed Property

More than 250 people discovered money that was owed to them

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (September 5, 2019) - Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced that 259 people discovered more than $271,000 in unclaimed funds at this year’s Maryland State Fair. One attendee learned about an unexpected windfall of $71,517.

Throughout the summer and fall, agency staff set up booths at county fairs and festivals and the State Fair to reunite Marylanders with money they are owed. Approximately 1,360 people made inquiries at the unclaimed property booth at this year’s State Fair.

“Several hundred people had a great time at the State Fair and learned about money that is rightfully theirs; I call that a red-letter day,” Comptroller Franchot said. “Our agency staff fans out across the state to reach residents and reunite them with money or property that is just waiting to be claimed by their owner.”

Financial institutions, utilities, insurance companies and other corporations are required to report to the Comptroller any bank accounts, security deposits, wages, insurance benefits and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been unclaimed after three years. In addition to booths at fairs and festivals, the Comptroller’s Office looks for owners of unclaimed funds by searching tax records.

Taxpayers can visit https://www.marylandtaxes.gov/ and click on the Unclaimed property icon to see if their name is on the list. The Comptroller urges anyone who finds their name to contact his office at 410-767-1700 (Central Maryland) or toll-free at 1-800-782-7383 to find out how to reclaim their lost property.

MEDIA CONTACTS: 

Susan O’Brien -  sobrien@comp.state.md.us
410-260-7305 (office); 443-871-2244 (mobile)

Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
 410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Comptroller Franchot Seeking Nominations for William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award

Eighth year of honoring individuals and organizations focused on bettering communities, improving the lives of others

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (September 3, 2019) — Comptroller Peter Franchot announced today that his office is once again accepting nominations for the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award. The deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, September 30.

Established in 2012, the award honors the unparalleled legacy of public service left by former Mayor, Governor and Comptroller Schaefer and is presented in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City to individuals and organizations with an unwavering commitment to helping people.

“Maryland is full of selfless individuals and remarkable groups that prioritize the lives of others, fulfilling unmet needs to improve vulnerable communities,” said Comptroller Franchot, who will personally present the award to each recipient, beginning late this year. “Every year, I hear so many inspiring stories of people around our state doing amazing work that it’s become to difficult to pick just one winner in each jurisdiction.”

Award recipients will be selected on their demonstration of:

  • Improving the community;
  • Promptly responding to a citizen problem through effective government intervention;
  • Directly aiding our most vulnerable populations; or,
  • Establishing a public/private partnership to improve the lives of fellow Marylanders.

Nominations submitted in previous years but not selected may be re-sent. To submit your nomination, print out and complete this form and either fax it to 410-974-2045 or attach it as a pdf and email abrody@comp.state.md.us. For more information or for questions about the award, call 410-260-6346.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Susan O’Brien -  sobrien@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)

Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Comptroller Franchot Urges Fiscal Restraint with Release of FY 2019 Closeout Report

State ends fiscal year with $216.6 million fund balance

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (August 28, 2019) — Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced that revenues for Fiscal Year 2019 came in $216.6 million above the Board of Revenue Estimates’ projections, bringing the unassigned balance of the State’s General Fund to $351 million, or less than one percent of the total FY 19 operating budget of $44.6 billion.

The final closeout numbers reflect stronger-than-expected revenue growth from capital gains, as well as an increase in Sales and Use Tax (SUT) collections resulting from the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision (South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.) that allowed states to collect tax from online remote sellers. However, the report also shows weak wage growth and otherwise tepid SUT collections.

“While revenues have again exceeded our modest estimates, this year’s figures belie several troubling indicators that increase the possibility of an economic contraction,” said Comptroller Franchot. “Unpredictable swings in trade policy and the ballooning federal deficit, coupled with an unprecedented 121 consecutive months of economic expansion and negative market indicators like the inverted yield curve, all suggest national economic volatility.”

Agency staff will continue to monitor economic trends and examine data that are historically accurate predictors of past recessions to look for signs of an approaching downturn.

“Given the indicators we’re seeing, and the potential for disruptions to our economic and fiscal stability in the near future, it would be in our best interest for the Governor and the General Assembly to exercise fiscal restraint and deposit this fund balance into our Rainy Day Fund,” said Comptroller Franchot. “Policymakers should take a cautious approach on new spending initiatives, no matter how well intended, that would take more money out of the pockets of consumers who power Maryland’s economy.”

General fund revenues totaled $18.2 billion in FY 2019, which is 1.2 percent above the BRE’s projections. Read the full Fiscal Year 2019 Closeout Report here.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Susan O’Brien -  sobrien@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)

Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

As Shop MD Tax-Free Week Begins, USM Doubles Top Scholarship Prize

Students attending member institutions will get $5,000 if their entry wins #shopmdtaxfree social media contest

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (August 11, 2019) - Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week is underway, meaning big savings for shoppers and a chance for students attending a Maryland college or trade school to win a huge scholarship, simply by posting their shopping experience on social media through August 17.

The University System of Maryland (USM) Foundation has announced that it will generously match the $2,500 top prize provided by the Maryland Retailers Association (MRA) if the winner attends a member institution, meaning a total prize of $5,000 could be awaiting one Marylander!

“The University System of Maryland is pleased to support this year’s Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week, which is an important and effective way that Maryland students and families can stretch their back-to-school dollars,” said USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret. “We also appreciate the Maryland Retailers Association leveraging this annual activity by sponsoring the #shopmdtaxfree scholarship contest.  To add to the excitement, I am happy to report that the USM Foundation will match the MRA’s $2,500 college scholarship if the eventual winner is enrolled at one of the USM’s 12 institutions or three regional centers—that’s a potential $5,000 scholarship to a lucky USM student!  Again, we’re happy to do our part to support this important effort by Comptroller Peter Franchot and the MRA—good luck to all!”

In addition, USM institutions may individually choose to add on to this amount with their own matching scholarship, meaning the prize could go even higher.

“Just when I thought tax-free week couldn’t get any better, one student could now be in line for a $5,000 scholarship!” said Comptroller Peter Franchot. “All they have to do is take a fun photo or video while shopping, write a creative caption and post it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #shopmdtaxfree. There’s no application, no interview, no essay – it doesn’t get any easier than that!”

During tax-free week, which runs through midnight on Saturday, August 17, any single qualifying article of clothing or footwear priced $100 or less – regardless of how many items are purchased at the same time – will be exempt from the state’s 6 percent sales tax. The first $40 of any backpack purchase is also tax-free.

This is the third year that the Maryland Retailers Association have provided scholarship money for Maryland college or trade school students — $2,500 for first place and $1,000 for second place — during tax-free week. Previous top prize winners attended Anne Arundel Community College and Cecil College.

Once again, entering the contest is simple. Eligible students simply need to:

  • Take a fun photo or video while shopping.
  • Write a catchy caption. (Be creative to catch the eye of the judges!)
  • Post to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #shopmdtaxfree.

After tax-free week, the MRA will select the two entries that best reflect the spirit of the contest and announce the winners. A scholarship presentation will take place in the following weeks.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:  

Susan O’Brien -  sobrien@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-7305 (office); 443-254-6000 (mobile)

Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 240-460-5937 (mobile)

Comptroller Reminds Marylanders Tax-Free Week is August 11-17

Maryland college and trade school students can win scholarships of $2,500 and $1,000 by using #shopmdtaxfree on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (August 5, 2019) - Comptroller Peter Franchot reminds Marylanders that Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week begins on Sunday, August 11, and runs through Saturday, August 17.

The Comptroller once again is joining with the Maryland Retailers Association (MRA) to promote a social media contest in which two winners will receive $2,500 and $1,000 scholarships, respectively, to any Maryland university, college or trade school.

To enter the contest during Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week, Maryland college and trade school students simply need to:

  • Take a fun photo or video while shopping.
  • Write a catchy caption. (Be creative to catch the eye of the judges!)
  • Post to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #shopmdtaxfree.

Shoppers can like or follow the official social media pages on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for more information. MRA, which is providing the scholarships, will select the two entries that best reflect the spirit of Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week.

“Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week is a great opportunity for parents to get deals on back-to-school clothes and for anyone to refresh a tired wardrobe,” Comptroller Franchot said. “And with the scholarship contest, two creative students have an opportunity to save on school costs simply by taking a fun photo or video while shopping, write a snappy caption and post it on the official social media pages.”

From August 11-17, any single qualifying article of clothing or footwear priced $100 or less – regardless of how many items are purchased at the same time – will be exempt from the state’s six percent sales tax. The first $40 of any backpack or bookbag purchase is also tax-free.

Comptroller Franchot will visit the following local businesses to encourage shoppers to take advantage of these savings and to participate in the contest. Details about each visit will be released several days ahead of the planned stops:

  • Monday, Aug. 5: Remix Recycling Co., 7022 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase
  • Wednesday, Aug. 7: John’s Men’s Clothing, 10 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Bel Air
  • Thursday, Aug. 8: Van Dyke & Bacon, 5919 York Rd., Baltimore
  • Tuesday, August 13: The Teal Antler, 156 W. Main St., Elkton
  • Wednesday, August 14: Target, 28539 Marlboro Ave., Easton

For more information on qualifying items, visit marylandtaxes.gov, email taxhelp@comp.state.md.us or call 410-260-7980 (Central Maryland) or toll-free at 1-800-MD-TAXES.

MEDIA CONTACTS:  

Susan O’Brien -  sobrien@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)

Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Baltimore County Tax Preparer Sentenced for Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns

Field Enforcement Division at Comptroller’s Office credited in initiating case; Rosedale tax preparer ordered to make restitution of more than $89,000 to State of Maryland

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Field Enforcement Division of the Maryland Comptroller’s Office initiated this case against a Baltimore County tax preparer and forwarded it to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office for prosecution. The following is a copy of the Attorney General’s Press Release:

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (July 25, 2019) – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today announced that Jonathan Hebb, 43, of Rosedale, pleaded guilty in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to two counts of filing a false income tax return.

From January 2013 through March 2017, Hebb, who was a registered tax preparer in Maryland, prepared and filed Maryland income tax returns, for a fee, on behalf of numerous Maryland residents. Hebb was employed at Tax Care Financial Services in Baltimore County. Many of the Maryland tax returns Hebb filed on behalf of his taxpayer clients included false information. Hebb included the false information to fraudulently minimize the taxpayers’ Maryland tax liabilities and increase the tax refunds the taxpayers received from the State of Maryland.

Based on the false and fraudulent tax returns Hebb prepared and filed, his clients received tax refunds totaling approximately $89,633.00. Hebb faced imprisonment for up to 10 years on each count. Judge Wachs sentenced Hebb to 5 years’ incarceration, suspended, five years of supervised probation and ordered him to pay restitution of $89,633 to the State of Maryland. He is also prohibited from acting as a tax preparer.

“Filing fraudulent tax returns is equivalent to stealing from the State,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Tax preparers have a responsibility to file honest returns. Mr. Hebb’s actions were inexcusable.”

The case was investigated by the Comptroller’s Field Enforcement Division and prosecuted by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.

MEDIA CONTACTS:  

Susan O’Brien -  sobrien@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)

Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)