The Governor’s Administration is proposing budget cuts of $67.2 million to the Board of Public Works tomorrow – including about $6 million in disparity grants to counties already required to provide those funds to their counties’ boards of education. Maryland Department of Budget and Management Secretary David Brinkley indicated that the cuts did not result from any shortfalls, but rather, that the State is “trying to get ahead of the curve.”
Sure enough, The Baltimore Business Journal reports that State general fund revenues actually came in higher than estimated for fiscal 2017, by $90.3 million, or 0.5 percent. Maryland collected $16.7 billion last fiscal year, up 3.1 percent from the previous year and closing the fiscal year with a balance of $256.3 million. Personal income tax rose 5.9 percent, and State withholding income tax increased 6.2 percent, or 1.1 percent above estimates. Sale tax, however, is down 2.2 percent from fiscal 2016.
By law, all but $10 million of the balance is required to be appropriated in the fiscal 2019 budget with $50 million going to the State Pension System and $196.3 million going into the Rainy Day Fund.
[Maryland Comptroller Peter] Franchot on Friday said he is urging Gov. Larry Hogan “and the General Assembly to steer a prudent course and save this money rather than putting it back into our state’s spending pattern.”