The Board of Revenue Estimates (BRE) today voted to increase the FY 2020 revenue projections for the State of Maryland by 0.1 percent to $18.7 billion, representing a modest increase of $26.4 million. The Board also revised its September estimate for FY 2021 to $19.2 billion, representing a 0.6 percent, or $115 million increase from previous estimates.
The three-member panel, which includes Comptroller Peter Franchot, State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and Secretary of Budget and Management David Brinkley, is responsible for estimating state revenues to assist with managing the State’s budget.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, the BRE in September increased the FY 2020 revenue projections by $130 million and set the first official revenue projections for FY 2021 at $19.1 billion.
According to Comptroller Franchot:
To be sure, these slight increases to our revenue estimates are indicative that our economy as a whole is in relatively good shape.
The Stock Market is doing well. We have historic unemployment rates, our labor force is strong and we’re seeing modest wage growth. While this is good news for a lot of Marylanders and Americans, we cannot deny the fact that the nation’s economy is working for some, but not all.
Economic inequality continues to grow and with the continued trend towards automation and the globalization of the American economy, far too many people are not benefiting from this current system. Small businesses are being squeezed out of existence by tax policy, regulatory policy and the onslaught of e-commerce. We are seeing more and more consumers accruing debt at a faster rate than they are saving.
To put it more simply, many people cannot afford to pay for the fundamental building blocks of success and security – whether it’s health care, college or technological resources. At the federal government level, our national debt continues to grow at an unsustainable pace and the ongoing political gridlock compromise our nation’s long-term economic and fiscal situation.
That’s why here in Maryland, we must maintain this economic and fiscal path that we’ve created – one that supports small businesses and encourages the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the private sector.
We are exercising fiscal restraint as we make tough decisions on how to best spend the hard-earned tax dollars of our citizens. I’m especially proud that we’ve been able to accomplish this with broad bipartisan support and consensus among the Governor and the General Assembly.