The mid shore Star Democrat today ran an article detailing the recently passed legislation on maintenance of effort, gaining various perspectives on its effects, both intended and unintended. From the article:
State Sen. Richard Colburn, R-37-Mid-Shore, opposed the changes to maintenance of effort regulations, and said they could cause serious financial problems for the counties. Colburn said now is the time when the state should be removing funding mandates from the counties, rather than adding them.
“This is just a burden that could break the backs of some counties,” Colburn said.[Talbot County Councilmember Laura] Price said the new maintenance of effort mandate is adding another $3 million to Talbot’s budget in an already financially difficult time. Having spent four days testifying before the General Assembly this year, she said the state is essentially forcing the counties to raise their tax rates, instead of the state doing it.
“It became evident that they despise our low tax rates and constitutional right to a voter-imposed property tax cap and they were going to do whatever it took to get rid of it and force us to raise our taxes,” Price said.
Colburn said none of the counties has recovered from the poor economy and the state’s revocation of road improvement money and police aid funding. He said the state needs to look at all departments when trying to cut its budget.