As reported by the Washington Post, Prince George’s County is already facing at least a $100 million shortfall as it begins to prepare its $2.7 billion budget for FY 2013. The shortfall has Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, exploring various revenue options. The Post’s coverage highlights challenges the county may face during the upcoming session in gaining support for fiscal assistance due to its position on slots in Prince George’s County and gay marriage.
During the legislative session, Baker hopes to secure a commitment for the state’s proposed $200 million contribution for a teaching hospital, which would replace the aging Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly. In exchange, Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) has said the county should allow slot machine gambling and could use some of the money to pay for the hospital.
County Executive Baker has not taken a position on slots, has expressed support for an increase in the gas tax and a nickel bag fee for the county.
Baker is also seeking a change in an income tax formula that for years has benefited Montgomery County and other more affluent jurisdictions while penalizing less wealthy counties, such as Prince George’s. And he wants state approval of a tax-incentive program to allow Prince George’s to reduce some taxes for businesses seeking to locate in the county.