On February 1, MACo presented a local government briefing to the House Ways and Means Committee. The MACo panel included Montgomery County Executive and MACo Treasurer Ike Leggett, Wicomico County Deputy Budget Director Andrew Mackel, and MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson. MACo submitted written comments to the committee, and provided comments as well.
County Executive Leggett discussed the stresses facing his county, noting the widespread service reductions and employee/position cutbacks the county has implemented, along with the challenges created by the Maintenance of Effort law. He also noted the county’s increase of a wide range of taxes and fees, “equivalent to an 8 cent property tax increase.” Mr. Mackel discussed the challenges in Wicomico County, and noted that county revenues for the FY 2011 budget had fallen back to approximately FY 2005 levels. Mr. Sanderson discussed the ongoing cutbacks and cost shifts in the proposed budget, noting “FY 2011 was a brutal year, and FY 2012 shapes up to be even worse.” He also noted the trend in property assessments declining, even as major state revenues are increasing.
Staff from the Department of Legislative Services and a panel from the Maryland Municipal League preceded the MACo panel in the Committee’s local government overview.