ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 26, 2010) – Fulfilling his commitment to stimulate job creation and help put unemployed Marylanders back to work, Governor Martin O’Malley today celebrated this week’s passage of the Job Creation and Recovery Tax Credit by touring a Baltimore County manufacturer that is currently hiring. The Governor, who proposed the legislation as part of his Economic Recovery Agenda and officially signed it into law yesterday, joined Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith at Cockeysville-based Saft America Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of lithium batteries for the space and defense industry. As part of the tour, the Governor highlighted the benefits of the jobs tax credit, which offers up to $5,000 to employers who hire unemployed Marylanders and is effective as of March 25, 2010.
“We’re here today to mark important progress that will put thousands of our fellow citizens back to work – including here at SAFT America – and that’s the Job Creation Tax Credit which I had the honor of signing into law yesterday,” said Governor O’Malley. “I applaud the General Assembly’s swift action and bipartisan effort to move this legislation forward. To rebuild and restore our economy, we must help our businesses create and save jobs, and improve the conditions under which business can create or save jobs.”
“The economic slide has taken its toll on too many workers and their families,” said Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith. “This new Maryland tax credit will help move hard working people off unemployment and back to work.”
In addition to signing the Job Creation Tax Credit bill yesterday, the Governor also signed a bill to modernize the State’s unemployment insurance trust fund, and maintain its solvency by leveraging federal funds. Under the Unemployment Insurance – Tax Deferrment, Trust Fund Solvency, and Cost-Neutral Modernization Act, Maryland is eligible for $126.8 million in federal funds to return the UI Trust Fund to solvency at no additional cost to employers, while providing plans to help them in paying their unemployment insurance obligations.
“With the jobs tax credit legislation, Maryland demonstrates strong business support and critical leadership that is needed now more than ever to strengthen businesses’ bottom lines and put people back to work,” said Christian S. Johansson, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. “Working with Governor O’Malley, our legislators and our stakeholders in the business community, we were able to put forth this bold initiative which gives our businesses the jump start they need to fill vacant jobs or create new ones.”
To claim the Job Creation Tax Credit, employers must apply for and receive certification from the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) that their hires meet the basic eligibility requirements. Beginning March 29, employers can apply online.
“We will make the process of hiring qualified employees as easy as possible for employers through the DLLR website,” said Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. “Employers can file for the tax credit certification online after they have made a hire, and we will provide rapid verification that a prospective employee is on the UI rolls. We will also help employers reach potential qualifying employees through our local One Stop Career Centers and provide guidance on how to screen for qualified employees during the hiring process.”
The tax credit, considered emergency legislation, will apply to qualified hires made on or after March 25, 2010 through December 31, 2010. It will help many growing companies like Saft America, which currently has 170 workers and plans continue their recruiting efforts over the next several years. An employer may receive a maximum credit of $5,000 for each qualified employee, up to a total of $250,000. The tax credit is available on a first-come, first-served basis, with a program limit of $20 million.
“As we continue our growth and expansion in the high-technology battery market, we look forward to the opportunities and benefits this tax credit brings to us and the local community,” said Ken Jones, Program Manager at Saft America. “We appreciate the assistance of the State in supporting Maryland businesses like Saft.”
Located in Cockeysville since 1983, Saft America, Space and Defense Division is the largest manufacturer in the world of defense lithium batteries. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saft Group SA of France. The Saft Group SA, headquartered in Paris, is a public company traded on the Paris Stock Exchange. Their Cockeysville facility researches and manufactures lithium batteries for a variety of uses in the defense and space industry and exports 20 percent of their manufactured goods.
Business representatives in local One-Stop Career Centers can help employers obtain information about the tax credit program and identify qualifying prospective employees who are being served in the career centers. Employers may reach the appropriate business representative by logging on to the One-Stop Career Centers web page.