Budget and Finance Affiliate Meet at MACo to Discuss Many Budget Related Issues

MACo’s affiliate organization, the Maryland Association of County Budget and Finance Officers, met on May 29 to discuss the 2013 legislative session and a number of budget related topics.  David Roose, Deputy Comptroller, and Andrew Schaufele, Director of the Bureau of Revenue Estimates, attended the meeting to participate in discussions on tax issues and provide a revenue projection update.

Part of the conversation with the Comptroller’s Office focused on additional income tax data that could be made available through the new data warehouse to assist counties with revenue projections.  The Comptroller’s Office has been very receptive to providing additional information.  A small working group will work over the next month to prepare a prioritized list of income tax data needs in anticipation of some of the data being provided in the fall before counties begin preparing for the fiscal 2015 budget cycle.  Some data may take longer to provide.

The Comptroller’s Office also provided a revenue projection update.  Although the State is seeing an increase in income tax revenue, an 11% increase when comparing the current 10 month period to the same 10 month period in fiscal 2012, sales and use tax revenue is stagnant and lottery revenue are declining. This is an indication that, due to the economy, people are still closely garnering their discretionary income.

MACo’s Legislative Director, Andrea Mansfield, briefed the group on a series of issues. In addition to a wrap-up discussion of the 2013 legislative session, Ms. Mansfield discussed the possible appeal of a recent county income tax case, Maryland State Comptroller of the Treasury v. Brian Wynne, to the U.S. Supreme Court; the local impact of the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013; the assessment of normal costs associated with the teacher pension shift and how these costs will affect Maintenance of Effort (MOE) beginning in fiscal 2017; and the calculation of education effort that will be used beginning in fiscal 2015 to determine whether a county would be required to increase its required MOE amount.

The next meeting of the affiliate will be held during the MACo Summer Conference at the Ocean City Convention Center on Friday, August 16 at 12:00 pm.