“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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Washington County Accepting Applications for Nonprofit Grant Program

The Washington County Office of Grant Management is accepting applications for the fiscal 2023 Surplus Funding Nonprofit Assistance program. This program assists local 501c3 nonprofits with surplus funds set aside by the Board of County Commissioners. Surplus Funding Nonprofit Assistance is limited to organizations with an office located within and providing services in Washington County. An organization may only submit one request for funding for a maximum award of $100,000. According to Washington County: The…

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Nov 15: Spending Affordability Committee Focuses on Education, State Vacancies

The Spending Affordability Committee of the General Assembly met on November 15 ahead of the 2023 legislative session. That meeting forecasted the state budget over the next several years with a focus on education funding and state staff vacancies. The Spending Affordability Committee met virtually on November 15 with the House Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees and the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee to discuss the state's fiscal health ahead of the 2023 legislative session. Of particular…

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Fed Raises Interest Rates by 75 Basis Points for Fourth Time This Year

The US central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of a point for the fourth time this year. The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of a point for the fourth time this year, matching rate hikes in June, July, and September, in its most aggressive drive in three decades to tamp inflationary pressures. The Fed set the new benchmark interest rate to a target range between 3-3/4 to 4…

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Charles Launches Grant Program to Extend Broadband to Residents with Long Driveways

The Charles County Commissioners and the Rural Broadband Task Force announced a grant program to help residents cover the costs of installing service drops — the connection from the right-of-way to the customer’s premises to the existing broadband network — for homes/businesses at the end of long, private driveways. The Long Driveway – Category 3 Grant Program will assist in funding connectivity on long driveways where the cost to extend has been the primary barrier…

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Charles Earns Three AAA Bond Ratings

Charles County announced that all three major national bond rating agencies: Fitch Ratings, S&P Global Ratings, and Moody's Investor's Service, have reaffirmed the County's AAA bond rating. The ratings keep borrowing costs low for capital projects and reflect the County's sound fiscal policies, prudent long-range planning, and robust economy. "On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, I am proud that all three agencies reaffirmed our AAA bond rating. This action shows continued confidence in…

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Harford Ends Fiscal Year With $35M Surplus, Earns Clean Opinion for Financial Reporting

Harford County ended last year with a nearly $35 million surplus to meet future needs and earned a clean opinion from external auditors on its financial reporting. The $34.8 million surplus, technically known as the unassigned general fund balance, is for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2022. The current surplus is in addition to $37.6 million for emergencies in the County’s fiscal stabilization fund, otherwise known as the “rainy day” fund. The…

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Wicomico Completes Bond Sale to Fund Several Major Projects

This week, Wicomico County sold $14.56 million in general obligation and tax-exempt bonds to finance several major capital projects. The County also sold $8.265 million in taxable bonds to fund specified projects at the SalisburyWicomico Regional Airport. Earlier this month, S&P Global Ratings affirmed the County's solid AA+, and Moody's Investors Service affirmed the County's rating of Aa2. "All of these projects continue moving Wicomico County forward. Even with the current bond market variability, the…

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Fitch Affirms Charles County’s AAA Rating Ahead of Bond Sale

Fitch Ratings affirms Charles County’s AAA bond rating. Fitch Ratings assigned a AAA rating to the following Charles County bonds: $50 million consolidated public improvement bonds of 2022 In addition, Fitch affirmed the County’s Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and outstanding GO bonds at AAA. The improvement bonds will finance the costs of certain buildings, facilities, equipment, and grounds. The County will offer the bonds via competitive sale on November 1, 2022. According to the Fitch Ratings analysis:…

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Fitch Affirms Carroll’s AAA Bond Rating Ahead of Bond Sale

Fitch Ratings assigned AAA ratings to the following Carroll County general obligation (GO) bonds: $30 million public improvement bonds of 2022 The superior ratings keep borrowing costs low for capital projects and reflect the County’s sound fiscal policies, prudent long-range planning, and economic stability. The County will sell the bonds to fund various capital projects on November 3. The GO bonds are backed by the County’s full faith and credit pledge and its unlimited taxing power,…

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