Counties Support Added Flexibility on Local Revenues

On February 2, 2023, MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in support of HB 0142 - More Local Tax Relief for Working Families Act of 2023. This bill gives counties the proper tools and flexibility to levy the local income tax with greater equity and fairness. In 2021, the General Assembly approved legislation authorizing counties to levy the local income tax on a bracket basis – standard practice for…

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NYC Housing Executive Simone Ross to Lead St. Mary’s Housing Authority

The Housing Authority of St. Mary’s County (HASMC) announces Simone Ross, MPA as the new Executive Director for the organization. Ross comes to HASMC with more than 20 years of housing, medical, and mental health experience. “It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the second Executive Director in the history of this organization,” Ross shared. “The sands of housing are shifting in St. Mary’s County, and I am excited to roll my…

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Grant Funding Available to Promote Alternatives to Incarceration

The Governor's Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services has announced the launch of the FY2024 Performance Incentive Grant Fund (PIGF) Notice of Funding Availability The primary purpose of the PIGF is to reduce Maryland’s state and local incarcerated population through appropriate diversion, deflection, service provision and recidivism reduction resources. The fund was established through savings generated from Maryland’s Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA) to provide for county-led innovations and state expansions of programming that…

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Counties Support Creation of Police Retention Workgroup

On February 1, 2023, Associate Policy Director Sarah Sample testified before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in support of SB 0018 - Police Retention Workgroup with amendments. As of writing, the bill's cross-file, HB 0308, will be considered by the House Appropriations Committee on February 7, 2023. This bill would establish a Police Retention Workgroup to study the factors that have potentially contributed to the current, statewide decline in police officer retention. As a regular collaborator…

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DLS: New Tax Data Reveals Disparity Grant Program Underfunded by $54M

New income tax data reveals the Disparity Grant Program is underfunded by $54 million. The Disparity Grant Program provides noncategorical State aid to low-wealth jurisdictions. It promotes equity across jurisdictions to overcome disparate tax bases -- ensuring that counties, which rely on local income taxes for substantial revenue, can generate sufficient yield to fund schools, public health, public safety, roadway maintenance, and other essential community services. Recent years have seen State-imposed "caps" in this program…

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Fun Fact: Allegany Boasts Best Coffee Shop in the Blue Ridge

Five Allegany County businesses, attractions, and events took home Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine's recently announced ‘Best of Awards’ in its February 2023 issue. This is Blue Ridge Outdoors’ thirteenth annual ‘Best of Awards,’ which consisted of an online nomination then polling process in October of 2022. This year, Blue Ridge Outdoors received 200,000 votes in 50 categories, from best local outdoor experiences, guides and outfitters to best local dining spots and events. Allegany County, Maryland,…

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MACo Supports More Flexibility for Local Public Campaign Financing

On January 31, 2023, Policy Director Kevin Kinnally testified in support of HB 0176 - Local Public Campaign Financing - Expansion to Additional Offices before the House Ways and Means Committee. This bill would expand the offices for which a county may establish a public campaign financing system. Currently, counties may authorize public campaign financing for elective offices in the executive and legislative branches of county government. This bill would enable counties to offer public…

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Counties Oppose Bill to Subvert Homestead Tax Credit

On January 31, 2023, MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally testified in opposition to HB 0073 - Homestead Property Tax Credit - Calculation of Credit for Dwelling Purchased by First-Time Homebuyer before the House Ways and Means Committee. This bill would open up property tax savings under the Homestead Property Tax Credit to be “portable” for specified homeowners. This dramatically undermines the longstanding policy purpose of the credit – to ensure stability in tax bills after purchase.…

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Arthur Shepherd New St. Mary’s Recreation and Parks Director

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County are pleased to announce that Arthur Shepherd will return full-time to the position of Director for the St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation & Parks. “Mr. Shepherd has done a tremendous job leading our Recreation and Parks Department,” said Commissioner President Randy Guy. “His commitment to our community is evident, and we couldn’t be happier that he has decided to stay on with us and return to full time…

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Worldwide Climate Teach-In Comes to Maryland in March

Maryland joins the 2023 worldwide Climate Teach-in and welcomes participation from local jurisdictions. The Worldwide Climate Change Teach-in  seeks to encourage conversations, literacy, and learning opportunities focused on climate change. This year, it will be commemorated around the world on or around March 29, 2023. The Maryland Commission on Climate Change is participating this year and is encouraging local jurisdictions to do the same. The Commission states: It's a powerful way for students and educators to talk about climate…

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