House Budget Proposal Better For Western Maryland Counties

In an opinion piece published in the Cumberland Times-News, March 21, Delegate Wendell Beitzel states that proposed cuts to key funding sources for Western Maryland counties have been blocked.  From the Delegate’s published comments:

Specifically, the Governor proposed the elimination of payments the counties receive in lieu of taxes. He also sought to eliminate the Maryland-Mined Coal Tax Credit.

Local leaders from both counties came to Annapolis to join me in lobbying my colleagues to resist these cuts. Specifically, the administration proposed to eliminate the 25 percent annual reimbursement that Garrett County receives from Deep Creek Lake dock fees.

Such was a condition to the state’s purchase of the lake in 1999. The withholding of these funds and the funds both counties receive from state forest and park revenues would have been disastrous. Luckily, the Transportation and Environment Subcommittee, of which I am a member, rejected the effort to cut this funding to our counties.

Also, the House Appropriations Committee rejected the governor’s proposal to eliminate the Maryland-Mined Coal Tax Credit. In his State of the State address, the governor stated, “It’s all about jobs.” Here is an prime example of a tax credit that has had a proven track record of fostering job creation and retention. Yet, this is the third attempt to eliminate the credit.

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