$51 Million for Local Program Open Space

According to numbers provided by the Department of Natural Resources, there is $51.1 million in general obligation (GO) bonds for local Program Open Space (POS) funding in Governor O’Malley’s proposed FY 2013 budget.  Since FY 2011, local POS program has been funded through GO bonds in the capital budget; prior to FY 2011 the Program was funded through special funds in the State’s operating budget.

The $51.1 million is derived through 4 sources:

(1)  A repayment amount of $36.4 million for special funds that were transferred to the State’s General Fund in FY 2011 and replaced with GO bonds in an equal amount, with the bond funding stretched out from FY 2011 through FY 2015.

(2) FY 2012 Transfer Tax revenues dedicated to local POS equalled $20.8 million and payment was set through GO bonds spread out over three years.  This year represents the second year of payment and the total is $6.9 million.

(3) For FY 2013 there is a one-time payment of $3.2 million reflecting an over attainment in FY 2010 that was transferred to the State’s General Fund in FY 2012 and replaced with GO bonds in FY 2013.

(4) FY 2013 Transfer Tax revenues dedicated to local POS are estimated at $13.5 million but will also be paid through GO bonds over the next three fiscal years.  The estimated FY 2013 portion of the payment is $4.5 million.

The Governor’s budget projects local POS payments of $15.6 million in FY 2014 and $8.6 million in FY 2015, although those estimates do not include the local POS share of FY 2014 and 2015 Transfer Tax revenues.  However, unless the Transfer Tax improves significantly, it is likely that the FY 2014 and 2015 local POS totals will be less than this fiscal year.

The $51.1 million is still subject to approval by the General Assembly.  Additional over or under attainments, which are not realized until 2 years out, could also modify the current projections.

The Governor’s budget also contains $17.7 million for stateside POS, $9.9 million for Rural Legacy, and $2.5 million for Community Parks and Playgrounds.  For more detailed information click here.

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