County budget officers met yesterday at the MACo office to discuss the new Maintenance of Effort (MOE) legislation and how MOE would be affected by a shift of teacher pension costs to the counties. During, the heavily attended meeting, the group discussed the three different waiver request processes (the one-year waiver, the rebasing waiver, and recurring cost waiver), the MOE calculation, the assurance provisions that would authorize the State to take a county’s income tax revenues and give them to a school board should a county not meet MOE, and the automatic escalator.
With respect to teacher pensions, counties would pay the pension costs on top of MOE during the phase-in period, four-years under the Senate plan and three-years under the House plan. However, once these costs are fully phased-in, they will become part of a county’s MOE requirement increasing the per-pupil costs for that jurisdiction.
Since the State Board of Education has taken no action to establish a process for counties seeking MOE waivers for the upcoming fiscal year, MACo has advised counties contemplating pursuing a MOE waiver to submit at least a letter of intent to the State Board of Education as soon as possible.
The documents distributed at yesterday’s meeting are below.