Extra Grant Funding Will Help Counties Catch Up

MACo Research Director Robin Eilenberg testified in support of House Bill 1624, “Local Governments – Income Tax Disparity Grants – Amounts”, before the House Appropriations Committee on March 6, 2018. This bill would add a two-year enhancement of grant funding to four counties: Caroline, Prince George’s, Somerset, and Wicomico.

This funding helps counties who do not yield as much income tax revenue as other counties and require additional funding to maintain essential services in their respective jurisdiction.

From MACo Testimony:

MACo supports this bill as a reasonable and appreciated effort to mitigate the impact of these caps. The extension of this relief, offered to those aforementioned counties with the maximum local income tax rate of 3.2 percent, offers $6 to $7 million a year for two years for public services in counties where this assistance is necessary.

Over the last six years, five counties have raised their local income tax rates. Somerset raised its rate to the maximum rate of 3.2 percent beginning in calendar year 2017. Caroline recently raised its income tax rate to the maximum rate of 3.2 percent in early November 2017, with the expectation that the new revenue could help fund a new elementary school and sheriff’s department.

This bill will provide needed revenues to counties with limited revenue generation potential, to help fund necessary public services such as public safety, schools, infrastructure, and community services.”

For more on this and other legislation, follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.