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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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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Counties Urge Flexibility in Employment Policies for Public Library Systems

On January 31, 2023, Associate Policy Director Brianna January testified before the House Appropriations Committee in opposition to HB 0065 - Education - Public Libraries - Collective Bargaining. In establishing a uniform collective bargaining process for public library employees, HB 0065 repeals current effective law leaving the decision to engage in collective bargaining in the hands the funding and operational authorities of local library systems -- the governing boards and county governments. Jurisdictions seeking to…

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Now Available: FY 24 School Capital Improvement Project Report at 75% Allocation

The State has published its report on approved projects under the Capital Improvement Program Projects for schools for fiscal year 2024. The Interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC) reports that it approved 75 percent of all projects submitted under the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) in fiscal year 2024. According to the IAC's report, CIP funding from the State: Is intended to be used to build new and replacement schools, to renovate facilities, and to replace…

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Dollars & Sense: Capital Consensus at #MACoCon

At MACo's Winter Conference, an expert panel shared best practices for identifying infrastructure needs, capital budget priorities, and reliable funding mechanisms. Budgeting to maintain a county's infrastructure can be a complicated process. Local elected officials must understand infrastructure needs and maintenance schedules, develop priority projects, and generate sustainable funding mechanisms. A close partnership with county administrators and agency heads is essential − from the beginning stages of assessing the capital needs and requests to managing…

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Counties to State: Counties Should Have Access to New School Financial Reporting Systems

Counties need access to new forthcoming reporting and budgeting systems for public education spending to fulfill their fiduciary duties as funding authorities and partners in school success. Maryland's landmark education reform law, The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (The Blueprint), and its phase-in implementation have an advanced interest in greater transparency and reporting of sources, uses, and outcomes from education investments. Investments from county governments, the State, and the federal government are often bulk-reported as single…

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Board of Public Works: December 21 Meeting Agenda

The Board of Public Works — a three-member panel including Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and State Treasurer Dereck Davis — reviews projects, contracts, and expenditure plans for state agencies, many of which affect county governments. It typically convenes on alternating Wednesdays in the Governor’s Reception Room on the 2nd floor of the State House in Annapolis, and meetings are open to the public. The Board’s next meeting is Wednesday, December 21, 2022, at…

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Can’t Miss at #MACoCon: Dollars & Sense: Capital Consensus

At MACo's Winter Conference, experts will share best practices for identifying infrastructure needs, capital budget priorities, and reliable funding mechanisms. Budgeting to maintain local infrastructure is an essential function of county government. A successful capital budget relies on elected officials, administrators, and agency heads collaborating to understand infrastructure needs and maintenance schedules, establish project priorities, and develop sustainable funding mechanisms. At MACo's Winter Conference, an expert panel will share best practices for planning and financing capital…

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“Lame Duck” Congress May Take Up Modified Financial Transparency Rules

Concerning proposals imposing strict financial reporting on governments may, in an amended form, be part of late-term congressional considerations on omnibus legislation. The National Association of Counties (NACo) has offered a late-year update on the progress of newly proposed financial reporting rules that may prove burdensome and difficult for many local governments. The assessment is below - indicating that the proposal appears on target to become part of a large omnibus legislative package in December,…

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