A panel of MACo officials, President Rick Pollitt, Past President Ingrid Turner, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, and Legislative Director Andrea Mansfield, testified before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee on January 23 to discuss MACo’s 2013 Session Priorities. The panel discussed the Governor’s Fiscal 2014 budget, county representation on the State Pension Board, and two tax initiatives, one dealing with the personal property tax and the other the motor fuel tax.
Following is an excerpt from MACo’s Testimony on the Governor’s Fiscal 2014 budget.
A cornerstone of MACo’s legislative initiatives for the past several years, MACo and county leaders have emphasized the importance of maintaining and restoring county funding and easing the financial burden of prior cost shifts as the economy improves. We were very pleased to see the Governor’s proposed budget begin this process. The Governor’s budget and accompanying budget reconciliation bill do not include any newly proposed reductions in aid to county governments or jointly state/county funded programs. Further, consistent with your actions last session, previous reductions to formula funding for local police departments and health departments have been restored. The cost shifting of assessment functions of the State Department of Assessments and Taxation will abate to a 50/50 split, down from a 90% county burden for each of the last two years.
With respect to county representation on the State Pensions Board, MACo is seeking legislation that would give counties a seat at the table where decisions as being made about pension fund investment policy and benefits administration.
A similar briefing will take place on January 30 before the House Ways and Means Committee.