In an opinion piece for the Gazette, Barry Rascovar writes about the ongoing fiscal challenges facing the State.
Now that Maryland Democrats have raised state income taxes for the rich and upper middle class to balance the state budget for a year, does this solve our financial problems?
Nope.Their actions don’t come close to erasing Maryland’s structural deficit. There’s not even a respite: Come next year, the governor and state lawmakers still face a deficit of at least a half-billion dollars.
To make matters worse, the state’s transportation program is nearing the breaking point. There’s no money to build Baltimore’s mass-transit Red Line, the Washington area’s Purple Line or Montgomery County’s Corridor Cities Transitway — and no agreement on how to generate more revenue for the crippled department.
Next year also will see the state’s bond program woefully short of funds needed to make interest and principle payments. It will take an extra $247 million diverted from next year’s general fund to close this yawning gap.