The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of fiscal affairs policy in the 2018 General Assembly.
Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database.
SDAT Cost Shift and Mandatory Spending Cuts Resisted by Counties in the Budget
MACo generally supported the Administration’s proposals for funding county services in the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA). However, counties successfully resisted a potentially calamitous cost shift from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) of nearly $20 million annually beginning in FY2019. This cost shift would have threatened the objective nature of having assessment functions managed and funded by an entity that does not meaningfully, directly benefit from the results of those assessments. Additionally, this cost shift would have required counties to fund, almost in their entirely, functions over which they have no managerial control.
The General Assembly also removed from the BRFA a provision that would have mandated relief by permanently capping formula increases in statutorily mandated programs to the level of general revenue growth minus 1 percent. The long-term effects on county programs would have been significant, but counties remain committed to and understand the necessity of maintaining a balanced budget. Counties are willing to work with stakeholders in the future to achieve this goal in ways that are not harmful to residents through consequential statewide mandates.