Farm bill to target oil, fencing taxes
ANNAPOLIS - Maryland farmers don't have to pay sales tax on farm equipment, but the exemption doesn't apply to two common farming needs - motor oil and fencing.
A Washington County lawmaker wants to change that, arguing the state should do everything possible to help struggling farmers stay in business.
Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, appealed his case before the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday.
Shank admitted the tax break won't solve the larger problem of farms being sold for development, but said it's a small concession that will send a message that the state cares about agriculture.
"This is one way we can prove it to the farmers of the state," Shank said.
Shank said several of his constituents in southern Washington County suggested the legislation to him.
Farmers told him they are buying their motor oil and fencing in Pennsylvania, where they aren't charged sales tax, he said.