Legislation Produces Profound Changes for Counties

An article in the Annapolis Capital highlights the dilemma counties will be facing at the end of this General Assembly session, implementing education and environmental changes and how to pay for them.

This year’s session, which is scheduled to end Monday night, has been a deal-changer for the state’s relationship with its counties. Bills have passed to direct more education costs to the counties and place greater burdens on them to clean up the environment.

Now it is up to the counties to determine how to pay for their new obligations.

Sooner or later many will be forced to raise taxes or cut spending in other areas, such as fire and police departments, or parks and recreation programs. New standards for minimum education funding and the shifting of teacher pension costs have created a precarious new fiscal reality for the counties.

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