Peter Franchot

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland panel will consider Gov. Larry Hogan's proposal to cut $68 million from the state's $43.5 billion budget.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Board of Public Works will vote on the governor's request on Wednesday.

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With Maryland state elections looming next year Republican Governor Larry Hogan is riding high with an approval rating of over 60 percent in the public opinion polls. In our final segment Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush talked with Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot about the prospects for his Democratic party going int0 2018.

Don Rush

The nation is still reeling from images of Nazi and Klan flags during the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said he was appalled at the image and the president's response. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush sat down with the the Comptroller in this first segment to talk about these events.

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It’s Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week when qualifying apparel and footwear that cost $100 or less can be purchased without paying the 6 percent sale tax.

Accessories items are not included.

But the first $40 towards a book bag or backpack is discounted.

The tax free week is aimed at giving parents a break as they prepare their children for going back to school in the fall.

The tax free week ends on Saturday.

Comptroller Peter Franchot will be stopping by Salisbury to give the program a boost.

Beginning Sunday, it’s Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week.

Shoppers can purchase everything from clothing to footwear costing a hundred dollars or less and won’t have to pay the 6 percent state sales tax.

For the first time this year the first $40 for a backpack purchase will be tax free.

On line purchases will also fall under the program if the items are purchased and delivered during tax free week.  

The program runs from Sunday August 13th to the following the Saturday August 19th.

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The state of Maryland will buy a tract 16-hundred acre tract of forest and wetlands in Somerset County.

The narrow decision by the Board of Public Works will mean the state will spend $3.4 million.

It’s located west of Route 13 just north of Princess Anne.

But the Salisbury Daily Times reports it was a narrow 2-to-1 vote with Comptroller Peter Franchot saying that he was not satisfied the land needed to be purchased to preserve it.   

He noted that much of the tract is swamp and is not expected to be developed even within the next hundred years.

Don Rush

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot says he’s going to fight a bill that he says puts a knife into the backs of local craft brewers.

The Maryland official was on the Eastern Shore yesterday visiting local craft brewers during the Maryland Municipal League.

The legislation would force local brewers to buy back their own products from wholesalers as well as force them to close their doors as early as 10 p.m.

WBOC reports that Franchot says the measure would cost the Eastern Shore economy billions of dollars each year.

Don Rush

It is baseball and craft beer.

That’s the theme of the latest efforts by the Maryland Department of Tourism.

Officially called the Maryland Baseball and Brew Scorecard the summertime promotion is aimed at encouraging travel across the state.

The scorecards can be picked up at participating breweries and Maryland Welcome Centers.

And when they are all filled out there are prizes.

Comptroller Peter Franchot says it is a way to celebrate to great Maryland traditions.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland board has approved a large contract for the lottery's central monitoring and control system.

The Board of Public Works voted 2-1 Wednesday for the contract, which could run as high as $341 million over 11 years. Gov. Larry Hogan and Treasurer Nancy Kopp voted for the contract for Scientific Games International. Comptroller Peter Franchot voted against it.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has signed a measure to create greater protections for Maryland taxpayers from tax fraud and identity theft.

It was one of the 207 bills the governor signed on Thursday.

The measure strengthens the ability of the comptroller's office to stop tax fraud, protect taxpayer information and hold fraudulent filers and tax preparers accountable.

Comptroller Peter Franchot says: "It's the missing piece of the puzzle for fighting tax fraud."

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The state of Maryland has processed more than one million tax returns so far this tax season.

The office of Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said in a statement Monday that the one millionth return was submitted by a tax filer in Calvert County.

The office says that last year it processed 3.2 million personal income tax returns. About 84 percent of those filings were filed electronically.

Don Rush

If you have questions about your Maryland state taxes you’ll be able to get some help from a new call center located on the Eastern Shore.

Yesterday Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot along with other officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony.

He said, “I am very excited to open this call center. It’s the very first one. And we’re doing it on the Shore. Because we care about the Shore. It’s a region that the state of Maryland is lucky to have.”

The center will create some 25 jobs and is located in Salisbury University’s Sea Gull Square complex.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's top tax collector says his office accidentally misdirected $21.4 million of local income tax payments for years.

In September, auditors reported that the comptroller's office sent $8.7 million to the wrong Montgomery County municipalities. But media outlets report that Comptroller Peter Franchot told lawmakers Wednesday that his office found another $12.7 million has been misdirected since 2010 and the problem affects nearly every municipality in the state.

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Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchnot says the state is facing a potential $1 billion decline in revenue over the next 18 months. As a result, he wants a moratorium on tax increases and tax cuts for the next five years to ease the state through a sluggish economy. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush talked with Franchot about his concerns during an appearance on the campus of Salisbury University.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order Wednesday to start Maryland public schools after Labor Day.

As he stood on the boardwalk in Ocean City Hogan said that this would help extend the tourist season for Marylanders and local businesses.

In addition, he said that it would help schools avoid the hot weather of August – especially for those without air conditioning and would save on energy costs.

The change is set to take effect next year. It requires public schools to complete the 180 days required under state law.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot will be in Ocean City to make an announcement about the starting date of Maryland schools in future years.

A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday. The governor declined to discuss details about the announcement when asked Tuesday, and a spokesman for the comptroller also wouldn't elaborate. However, both officials have supported starting school after Labor Day.

Franchot released a YouTube video on Monday with Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan talking about the positive aspects of a later school start.

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Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot says Governor Larry Hogan is popular for such a Blue state. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with the state official after last week's summer conference of the Maryland Association of Counties.

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It's back to school and Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot says it is time to begin the term after Labor Day throughout the state. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with the Comptroller during last week's summer conference of the Maryland Association of Counties to talk about the idea and down signs for fiscal health of the state.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland has reached a settlement with the family of a Frostburg State University football player who died from a head injury he suffered in practice.

The agenda for the Board of Public Works' meeting set for Wednesday shows Maryland's attorney general is seeking approval for a payment of $50,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of fullback Derek Sheely.

Sheely's parents alleged negligence by three football staff members, the NCAA and others.

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SYKESVILLE, Md. (AP) - Comptroller Peter Franchot is taking a walking tour of Sykesville.

The comptroller's visit on Friday comes after the town was named "Coolest Small Town in America" by Budget Travel magazine.

Franchot will visit several local businesses.

Mayor Ian Shaw, Town Manager Dawn Ashbacher and Economic Development Director Steven Colella will join Franchot at all stops.

It's the second time in three years that a Maryland town has won the magazine's "Coolest Small Town" contest. Berlin on the Eastern Shore won in 2014.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The state of Maryland will be holding a bond sale.

The sale is scheduled for Wednesday in Annapolis during the state's Board of Public Works meeting.

During the competitive sale, bids will be transmitted electronically by underwriting syndicates.

The winning bid will be ratified at the meeting. Final pricing is incorporated in the bond purchasing agreement, which must be approved by the board, which is made up of Gov. Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland revenue estimates have been revised down by $51.4 million for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

The state's Board of Revenue Estimates announced the revisions Wednesday. Officials say the less-than-expected revenue indicates consumers are still being cautious.

Comptroller Peter Franchot says the state continues to see "lackluster growth in wages and minimal growth in high-paying jobs." He says "very weak sales" during the holiday shopping season are part of the reason for the revenue drop off.

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. (AP) - The Eastern Shore Innovation Center is opening.

Comptroller Peter Franchot is scheduled to speak Monday at the facility.

The new 13,500-square-foot facility is designed to spur economic development in the region through high-growth entrepreneurship and innovative practices.

The $2.4 million project was funded by the Maryland Department of Commerce, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation and Dorchester County.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Comptroller Peter Franchot will discuss ongoing efforts to fight tax fraud and identity theft at tax preparation businesses.

Franchot is holding a forum on Friday in Annapolis.

Since the end of January, the comptroller's office has suspended processing of electronic and paper tax returns from 23 Liberty Tax Service franchises and from 14 private tax preparers at 18 locations due to a high volume of questionable returns received.

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland has stopped processing tax returns from 16 more Liberty Tax Service franchises over questionable returns.

Comptroller Peter Franchot said in a news release on Tuesday that his office has also suspended processing of returns from three private tax preparers. The comptroller said last week that his office had stopped processing tax returns from seven Liberty franchises.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Comptroller Peter Franchot says Maryland needs to strengthen its laws to fight rising cases of tax fraud.

Franchot said Tuesday he will ask lawmakers in the upcoming session to improve his agency's ability to enforce the tax code and protect taxpayers from identity theft. He says legislation is needed to keep up with "rapidly-increasing fraud schemes and fast-changing threats to sensitive data."

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland board has approved a wetlands license needed to build more than 1,000 homes for senior citizens on Kent Island.

The Board of Public Works voted 2-1 Wednesday for a license needed for the Four Seasons development, a project that has sparked debate for years.

Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford and Treasurer Nancy Kopp voted for it.

Don Rush

A big crowd that included state and local leaders showed up for the swearing of Salisbury Mayor Jake Day and the newly elected city council members last night at the Cypress Street Fire Station.

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With the terrorist attacks on Paris last week that saw around 130 people killed many others injured many are trying to take in the meaning the events. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with local officials to get their reactions and their concerns.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot are urging state residents who paid income taxes in another state between 2011 and 2014 to apply for a tax refund against the county portion of their income taxes.

The Republican governor and the Democratic comptroller made the announcement Monday.

Hogan says an estimated 55,000 taxpayers are eligible, due to a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year. Hogan says it could add up to more than $200 million.