Feds Squash SALT Cap Workarounds

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this week squashed attempts by some states to circumvent the federal cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT). Tax reform capped SALT deductions at $10,000 – a move of particular import in states like Maryland. In response, some states passed legislation to allow local governments to create charitable funds to pay for local services and offer property tax credits to incentivize…

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Queen Anne’s Passes Volunteer Firefighter Tax Credit

The Queen Anne's County Commissioners this week approved a property tax credit for eligible volunteer firefighters. In order to be eligible for the credit, which will be phased in over five years, fire company volunteers must have maintained active service status for three consecutive years and be a resident property owner of the County. “As a commission, we work together well and keep the future of the county as a priority,” said Commissioner Jack Wilson.…

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Outcome Budgeting, Inspector General Combine to Deliver Data During City Budget Hearings

During Baltimore City Council Budget Hearings, the City's Inspector General (and the city's own predilection for outcome budgeting) powered a thorough evaluation of program outcomes by Council Members during their public hearing. The Inspector General role, created in 2005 but re-addressed my more recent local actions, has helped to re-frame the public deliberations of the Baltimore City Council. From the OIG website: The Mission of the Office of the Inspector General is to promote accountability,…

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Baltimore County Unveils Open Budget Platform

New Platform Brings Unprecedented Transparency to the Baltimore County Budget. Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today unveiled a new open budget platform where residents can view detailed information about the County’s budget, bringing a new level of transparency to how the County spends taxpayer dollars. According to a press release: “An open, transparent government is an accountable government. We can better serve the residents of Baltimore County by ensuring they have access to information about where…

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Presiding Officers Name School Funding Formula Workgroup

Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Adrienne Jones yesterday named thirteen members to a workgroup that will make recommendations on the pattern and role of state and local funding to the [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education later this year. MACo President and Harford County Executive Barry Glassman will represent MACo on the panel. The [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education was formed in 2016 to answer two questions: Should…

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The County Program: Local Duties, Local Powers

State preemption of local laws, in particular those laws seeking to advance health, environment, and community preservation aims, is a national issue. This article is the first in a series exploring local government powers, their preemption, and implications for Maryland. What Makes Maryland #Countystrong? As compared with other states in the US, Maryland’s county governments have a relatively large role in the delivery of public services. This is in part because Maryland, unlike other states,…

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Wynnes Challenge Constitutionality of Maryland’s Tax Repayment Remedy

A Daily Record article (2019-05-23) provided an update on the efforts of Brian and Karen Wynne, who are currently challenging the constitutionality of Maryland's tax repayment remedy. The remedy was put in place after the Wynnes won a 2015 United State Supreme Court decision striking down Maryland's prohibition on deducting from local income taxes any out-of-state income or taxes paid. The Wynnes initially challenged Maryland's prohibition on the local income tax deduction and the case when all…

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