County Repayment Delay Passes House, Moves to Senate

House Bill 686 would implement a two-year delay of county repayments to the Local Income Tax Reserve Account that stems from the ruling in the Comptroller v. Wynne court case. It now moves to the Senate after already passing the House 137-0.

With a yes vote from the Senate, this delay allows counties to continue to properly plan and take into account the impact that these repayments will have on their budgets, and subsequently their ability to continue to provide comprehensive services to citizens.

Taxpayers have already received their refunds and interest stemming from the Wynne case, and these bills allow counties to smoothly address the repayment of funds into the tax reserve account for an extra two years. MACo submitted written testimony in support of HB686 to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee on March 20, 2018.

From MACo Testimony:

The amount of money owed by counties for the refunds paid pursuant to the Wynne case is extraordinarily high, at around $250 million. Counties appreciate efforts made by the General Assembly in the past to smooth out the severe, deleterious impact of the Wynne case decision over an extended time, and to delay repayments until the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019.

Initiating these repayments will cost local taxpayers tens of millions of dollars—at the expense of schools, law enforcement, roadways, and the other local government functions upon which all county residents depend. MACo strongly supports this effort to delay that outcome until counties have a better grasp on how their local income tax revenue streams will look, allowing them to budget most appropriately to protect our shared constituents.”

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