Most Counties Not Increasing Taxes to Balance Fiscal 2011 Budgets

As reported by the Gazette, most counties will not increase taxes to balance their fiscal 2011 budgets.  However, a local economist has a different prediction for fiscal 2012.

That trend is not likely to continue into fiscal 2012, said Anirban Basu, chairman and CEO of the Baltimore-based Sage Policy Group. Basu is basing his prediction on a still-weak economy and a fragile housing market he says will hurt state and local budgets. The state, in turn, will make cuts to funding for local government, he said, forcing counties to find additional sources of revenue.

The article reports –

Already, Anne Arundel and Kent counties have raised property taxes slightly, and the Baltimore City Council voted Monday to increase taxes on income, telecommunications and parking to raise $20 million.

In Montgomery County, council members approved steep increases to energy and cell phone taxes to generate about $150 million in new revenue. The council also approved a fee on ambulance rides to be paid by insurance companies; it is expected to bring in about $13 million annually.

Officials in Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, Frederick and Washington counties say they have not had to turn to tax increases — yet.

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