Today’s Washington Post editorial, “Md. sacrifices road repair to pay teacher pensions,” scolds Maryland budget leaders for accepting a permanent cut to local Highway User Funding. Widely perceived as a “trade off” for the rejection of the pension shift proposal passed by the Senate earlier this session, the Post observes:
In the meantime, the state, and taxpayers, are likely to be the losers, and not just because of the damage that potholes inflict on cars. Annual deficits for the next several years are projected in the range of $2 billion, about 15 percent of the state’s $13 billion general fund. In the compromise struck last week, lawmakers managed to shave that by about a third. But by postponing any change in how teachers’ pensions are paid for the next few years — and passing up a chance to trim the state’s forecast annual deficit by an additional $300 million or so — taxpayers are likely to be handed the bill starting next year.
So here’s a word to the wise: Start saving now, both for the tax bills and the car repairs in your future.