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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Costly, Unbalanced Pension Enhancement Bill Dies in Committee

A costly, unbalanced pension enhancement bill did not receive a vote in the House Appropriations Committee, and therefore died when the General Assembly adjourned sine die. For county governments that participate in the Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System (LEOPS), HB 659 would have required an automatic increase in county law enforcement pension benefits, and a new variable in county government pension contributions. The bill proposed to increase the normal service retirement benefit multiplier for members…

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Bill to Boost Disparity Grant Program Clears General Assembly

The General Assembly today passed a bill to extend enhanced disparity grant funding for counties with proven local income tax effort. Disparity grant funding provides much-needed revenues to counties with limited revenue generation potential to help fund necessary services such as public safety, schools, infrastructure, and community services. Under current law, the amount of funding received by county governments equals the lesser of the dollar amount necessary to raise the county’s per capita income tax…

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General Assembly Passes County Tax Fairness Act

The General Assembly today passed HB 621 – County Tax Fairness Act, legislation that would delay the requirement for local governments to repay the Local Income Tax Reserve Account for refunds paid pursuant to the Maryland State Comptroller of the Treasury v. Brian Wynne court decision (Wynne case). Taxpayers have already received their proper refunds and interest. HB 621 merely addresses the remaining matter of bookkeeping for the state-managed reserve account. The amount of money…

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Counties Back Proposed Interjurisdictional Policing Grant Program

On March 12, 2020, MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu submitted written testimony to the Senate Judicial Proceedings and Budget & Taxation Committees to support SB 1051 (CF HB 1355) – Public Safety – Interjurisdictional Policing Grant Program – Establishment. This bill establishes an Interjurisdictional Policing Grant Program administered by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to provide financial support to counties to seeking to establish and implement collaboration agreements on interjurisdictional law enforcement…

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