In a letter to The Daily Times Wicomico County Council President Joe Holloway expressed how the Governor’s proposed teacher pension shift would be an unbearable financial burden to counties.
The governor’s proposal would simply force counties to pay the freight, without any say in the system or its costs.
For Wicomico County, the new cost for the coming fiscal year is more than $3.8 million. To mask the pain for the first year, the governor’s budget proposes increasing the education disparity grant to the county, along with other measures so there would be no increased out-of-pocket costs to the county in the first year. However, the fiscal staff in Annapolis says the cost to Wicomico County will grow immediately in the second year to more than $4.9 million, and the following year to more than $5.7 million.
That kind of new cost burden will be devastating to the county’s ability to provide funding for schools, public safety or any other existing county service at a level residents would consider acceptable.
The state should resist the temptation to balance its budget on the backs of county taxpayers. We respectfully urge our senators and delegates to stand in opposition to these massive and unbearable cost shifts.