In today’s Gazette, reaction from many county officials regarding the pension shift being passed by the Maryland Senate, and debated this week in the House of Delegates.
The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee voted Thursday to approve a plan to phase in the shift across four years. Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed fiscal 2013 budget, released in January, sought to cut a $1.1 billion structural deficit in half, in part by shifting about $240 million of the $946 million total cost of teacher pensions to counties.
The plan was denounced by many county leaders, who said their jurisdictions would not be able to absorb the additional cost.
Currently, the state pays the entire cost of the pensions, while the counties foot the Social Security costs.
Under the committee’s plan, the cost to county school boards would be $68.3 million in fiscal 2013 and $254.8 million by fiscal 2016. The costs would be offset in part by state aid, including the closing of a loophole in the state’s recordation tax, expected to generate $39 million in revenue.