Bill to regulate short-term rentals in Maryland not likely to pass this year

Senators on a key committee made it clear Friday that they're not likely to approve legislation to regulate and tax short-term rental properties that are advertised online. Members of the Senate Finance Committee expressed little interest in passing a bill during a work group meeting on the issue Friday afternoon. They're considering a bill that would require short-term rentals posted on websites like Airbnb, HomeAway and FlipKey to file paperwork with the state, pay state sales taxes and pay local hotel taxes. (Balt. Sun)

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$250,000 in state money requested for Cross Street Market project

State Sen. Bill Ferguson has requested $250,000 from the state to make tenant improvements at Cross Street Market, as plans for a private renovation remain in limbo. Baltimore signed an agreement last year with Caves Valley Partners for a $6.5 million overhaul of the building. But the Towson-based developer, which took over management in January, has been on the fence about moving foward, amid opposition from merchants worried about being displaced and neighbors concerned about its request for a liquor license. (Balt. Sun)

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Federal funding to establish state apprenticeship fund

The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has received exclusive federal funding to establish an Apprenticeship Innovation Fund. The federal grant allows Maryland to provide incentives for innovative apprenticeship solutions for Maryland’s businesses. This initial investment of more than $620,000 is a part of a U.S. Department of Labor ApprenticeshipUSA Expansion Grant, which was awarded to Maryland in October. (Times-News)

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Maryland takes next step toward offshore wind

Hearings starting Monday could determine whether Maryland becomes a leader in the development of offshore wind power in the United States. The Maryland Public Service Commission will begin what could be two weeks of hearings on proposals from two developers to build wind farms in the Atlantic Ocean off Maryland. The two developers are competing for up to $1.9 billion in subsidies over 20 years, paid for by the state's electricity ratepayers, a crucial financing mechanism for developers to recoup the cost of building the massive wind farms. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore ranks among best cities for job seekers

If you're thinking about finding a new job, moving to Baltimore is a pretty solid option. The city ranked among the 25 best cities for job seekers in a new study by Glassdoor. Baltimore is No. 17 on the list for having a large number of job openings and a high median household income. The median base salary for the job openings Glassdoor is tracking is $58,000, according to the study, which ranks ninth among the 25 best cities for job seekers. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Ocean City extends season but strives to be year-round

On a crisp, clear weekday afternoon, the salty breeze blows gently over the Ocean City Boardwalk. The sunshine beckons walkers onto the near-glowing beige sand, and the cusp of spring is building in the air. Near the water's edge, a couple dressed in black embrace, contrasted by the vibrant blue sky hovering over the ocean. Despite the pristine serenity, the boards lie nearly barren, with the occasional wandering passer-by, a Candy Kitchen bag in hand. The lone call of a sea gull, which would have been muffled by the bustling of tourists in the summer months, comes through almost blaring as winter comes to a close and spring begins. That all changed this weekend. (Daily Times)

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With snow coming, Wisp preparing to reopen slopes

With fresh snow on the ground and more in the forecast, Wisp Resort, which ended its ski season last month because of warm weather, has announced its slopes will reopen. Resort officials said Sunday winter operations would resume sometime this week, although an exact time frame hasn’t been determined. That depends on how much natural snow is received from an approaching storm system expected to drop several inches on the area by Tuesday and how much machine-made snow can be produced, officials wrote on the resort’s Facebook page Sunday. (Times-News)

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Tourism industry still on the rise in Allegany County

Recently released statistics show that Allegany County tourism continued to increase in fiscal year 2016, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than the previous year. Allegany County’s overall tourism contribution to the Maryland tax base increased by around 1 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to a report released in January by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development. That’s down from a 10 percent increase from 2013 to 2014, when the Great Allegheny Passage was completed and Allegany County outpaced all other Maryland counties in tourism growth. (Times-News)

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