Opinion: Stimulus Package Will Remain Half-Baked Unless Local Governments Get More of the Dough

President Trump this week signed a massive $2 trillion stimulus package designed to keep the economy afloat amid the deepening COVID-19 pandemic. As previously reported on Conduit Street, The bill includes $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds; $500 billion lending fund for industries, local governments, and states; $367 billion for small business loans; $130 billion for hospitals; and $1,200 checks to most Americans. The $150 billion for state and local governments is generally…

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Tax Provision in COVID Bill May Carry State/County Revenue Losses

A provision included in the massive COVID response legislation moving through Congress offers a new tax write-off for investors, and may reduce tax bases for states (and for Maryland counties). In the high-profile CARES bill accelerated through the U.S. Senate and pending House agreement (as of this writing), a provision amidst the many stimulus offerings is a structural change to the basis for taxing investment income. From a discussion in the New York Times: Senate…

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Baltimore City Approves COVID-19 Pandemic Mission Critical Stipend

Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young today announced the COVID-19 Pandemic Mission Critical Stipend, which will provide additional compensation for frontline, public-facing employees amid the coronavirus outbreak. “It is critical that we provide any relief we can to our front line employees to ease burdens at home while they continue to go to work on behalf of the city and its residents,” Mayor Young said. According to a press release: Baltimore City’s frontline public-facing…

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Feds Reach Deal on $2 Trillion Stimulus Package: What It Means for Counties

The U.S. Senate today is expected to pass a massive $2 trillion stimulus package designed to keep the economy afloat amid the deepening COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. House is likely to take quick action on the Senate bill and send it to President Trump for swift enactment. The bill includes $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds; $500 billion lending fund for industries, local governments, and states; $367 billion for small business loans; $130…

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Frederick Holds Virtual Public Hearing on Fiscal 21 Operating & CIP Budgets

In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner yesterday held a virtual public hearing on the upcoming fiscal year budget. The budget is based on no property or income tax rate increases. Highlights of the six-year Capital Improvement Program include moving up construction of a new Brunswick Elementary School, a library in Middletown, and the expansion and renovation of Animal Control. According to a press release: A summary list of budget appeals and highlights…

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A Look at 2019 State Annual Personal Income
Courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
A Look at 2019 State Annual Personal Income

Without question, the economic shock from the COVID-19 pandemic has been sudden and unprecedented. In the span of just a couple weeks, restaurants and non-essential businesses have been shut down statewide and consumer spending on non-emergency items has plummeted. The full effect of these impacts will not be known for some time, but it is clear they will be meaningful. Looking back to 2019, across the United States, state personal income increased by 4.4 percent…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Taxes and Revenues

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of tax policy in the 2020 General Assembly.  The General Assembly routinely considers proposals to change tax structures, often seeking to stimulate economic growth, encourage beneficial activities, or attract and retain residents. These proposals often are focused exclusively on the state’s tax structure, but sometimes extend to local revenues as well. In general, MACo stands for local self-determination. Counties, led by their…

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Montgomery Council to Consider Resolution to Limit Non-Essential Spending Amid Coronavirus Epidemic

Councilmember Navarro to introduce Council resolution calling for immediate spending restraint on operating budget items not associated with COVID-19 emergency response or economic recovery efforts. ‪Montgomery County Council Member Nancy Navarro, who chairs the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, tomorrow will introduce a resolution calling for the Council to exercise immediate spending restraint for operating budget items unrelated to the public health and safety needs associated with the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic or the…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Finance and Procurement

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of finance and procurement policy in the 2020 General Assembly. This year, for the first time in since the Civil War, the General Assembly closed session early on March 18, due to precautionary social distancing measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19. Consequently, many bills did not have hearings or did not move forward due to time constraints to meet the…

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