MACo offered testimony on SB 1301/HB 1801 today to express its continued concerns with a shift of teacher pension costs to county governments. This is one of many budget issues to be resolved during the special session.
From MACo’s letter of concern:
The past month has been a difficult one for county governments. The passage of a “doomsday” budget and the uncertainty of whether that budget would be replaced by a proposal approved by the budget conference committee during a special session has forced counties to pull together a number of very different budget scenarios for FY 2013. Under these scenarios, a number of counties may increase property taxes and/or significantly reduce county services. However, the level and long term consequences of these actions will be set by the budget that is before you today.
When comparing the “doomsday” budget to the one that is before you, the outcomes are very different. Doomsday represents a one year reduction that can be restored in FY 2014. The budget before you represents a shift of increasing on-going costs for which counties will be responsible for years to come. While MACo appreciates the work of both the House and Senate to minimize the effects of the pension shift through a phase-in and by providing a number of offsets, it is still concerned with the policy direction and long term effect such a shift will have on county governments and their citizens.