Maintenance of Effort Legislation Creates Uncertainty for Wicomico County

As reported by the Salisbury Daily Times, the Maintenance of Effort legislation (SB 848) that was signed yesterday by the Governor would create budget uncertainties for Wicomico County.

Wicomico County Director of Finance Andy Mackel previously said the county could be required to increase its funding to schools by as much as $7 million this year. Mackel said that increase could only be avoided if the state changed legislation language to recognize a last-ditch effort by Wicomico County to raise local income tax from 3.1 percent to 3.2 percent — the maximum allowed by law.

While this effort was being made, the bill that would have included such language (SB 152 Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2012) did not pass on the last day of the session.  It got caught up in negotiations that were occurring on the budget and gambling legislation.

Mackel said if the county is required to increase its funding by $7 million this year, it would be “a very significant problem.”

“Public safety is the only sector big enough for that to come out of,” he said. “But I don’t want to speculate on how we would close that gap.”

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