MACo to Ways and Means Committee: Prioritize Schools, Behavioral Health, Local Decision-Making

MACo’s 2020 President, Baltimore City Council Member Sharon Green Middleton, First Vice President, Caroline County Commissioner Wilbur Levengood, Chair of MACo's Education Subcommittee, Montgomery County Council Member Craig Rice, and MACo Associate Director Kevin Kinnally today presented MACo’s 2020 Legislative Initiatives to the House Ways and Means Committee. The MACo panel followed the Department of Legislative Services’ analysts, who presented the annual Overview of State Aid to Local Governments. Substance use disorders and mental illness…

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Fiscal Briefing Highlights Budget Big Picture

The Department of Legislative Services (DLS) today presented its annual fiscal briefing to the General Assembly budget committees. This briefing provides a comprehensive overview of the Governor’s proposed FY 2021 operating and capital budgets, aid to local governments, and the State’s economic and revenue outlook. The Quick Look at Fiscal 2021 Budget shows that the Governor’s proposed budget leaves a general fund balance of $414.4 million at the end of FY 2020 and $108.5 million at…

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Governor Hogan Proposes $1 Billion Tax Cut for Retirees

Governor Larry Hogan yesterday unveiled a proposal to cut taxes for retirees by more than $1 billion over the next five years. “People who have been lifelong Marylanders and have contributed so much, and still have more to offer, are moving to other states for one reason—our state’s sky-high retirement taxes,” said Governor Hogan. The bill would eliminate all state tax on the first $50,000 of income for retirees making up to $100,000 in federally…

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Governor’s 2021 Budget Proposal – What It Means for Counties

Governor Larry Hogan yesterday unveiled his FY 2021 budget proposal. Overall, the $47.9 billion budget proposal -- a 1.6 percent increase from the current fiscal year --  leaves a general fund balance of $414.4 million at the end of FY 2020 and $108.5 million at the end of FY 2021. The Rainy Day Fund ends FY 2021 with a balance of $1.2 billion (6.28% of general fund revenues). Combined cash balances at the close of…

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Washington County Approves Firefighter Staffing Plan

The Washington Board of County Commissioners today voted to authorize the final planning and implementation for the Division of Emergency Services' regional staffing plan. This plan will deploy firefighters in four strategic locations across Washington County. "Today, more than ever, supporting our emergency responders is a top priority. Perhaps, on the worst day of your life, our emergency responders are there to answer your calls. Providing the mechanisms and necessary funding is paramount to provide…

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Board of Public Works Approves $18.8 Million in Rural Legacy Program Grants

The Board of Public Works yesterday unanimously approved more than $18.8 million in Rural Legacy Program grants for conservation easements in 18 counties. Funding from these grants will permanently protect more than 4,500 acres of working farms, forests, open space, shorelines, and wetlands — plus cultural and historic resources — throughout the state. According to a press release: The projects were recommended by the Rural Legacy Board, which consists of the Secretaries of the Maryland Department of Natural…

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When Do State Tax Changes Spill Over Into County Budgets?

As the 2020 session ramps up, talk of state tax changes have filled the headlines. A level deeper, though – what state tax decisions might have direct or carryover effects on county budgets? A quick primer: PERSONAL INCOME TAXES The state income tax is the top source of general revenue, and the biggest overall target for policy changes. Since county tax rates are independent of the state rates – counties are affected by some state…

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Anne Arundel Public Library Eliminates Fines for Children and Teen Materials

The Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) this week announced that it will no longer charge overdue fees on children and teen books, movies, and music. The library also waived $754,637 in outstanding fines and fees for customers under the age of 18 and outstanding late charges on children and teen materials for adult accounts. Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and the Anne Arundel County Council approved supplemental funding to enable the library system…

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