Fed Slices Interest Rate for Second Time this Year

The Federal Reserve today lowered its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, the second time this year the central bank has cut rates in an attempt to insulate the United States economy from a potential global slowdown. The new interest rate is now 1.75 percent to 2 percent, according to a press release. The Fed said it continues to see a continuation of economic growth, a robust labor market, and inflation near 2% as “the…

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Queen Anne’s Hopes TIF District Will Improve Local Infrastructure

The Queen Anne's County Commissioners yesterday approved the County's first tax increment financing (TIF) district. The Kent Narrows Development Project was established to provide much-needed infrastructure to support several projects at the Kent Narrows on Kent Island. TIF provides the opportunity to leverage limited public financing of public infrastructure (i.e., roads, sewers, and utilities) to attract private investment. It encourages the development of specific projects that are in the public interest that would otherwise be…

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New Jersey Reconsiders Corporate Tax Incentives

New Jersey has some of the most generous state business tax incentives in the country. The state has awarded billions of dollars in tax breaks through the state’s Grow NJ and Economic Development and Growth (ERG) programs, which expired July 1. Last month, Governor Phil Murphy vetoed legislation to renew the $11 billion programs and instead called on lawmakers to implement his proposal to reform corporate tax incentives in the Garden State. S3901 would have…

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DLS Podcast: August Bond Sale

In the latest installment of the Department of Legislative Services' (DLS) podcast, Matthew Bennett and Patrick Frank discuss last month's sale of $550 million in State General Obligation Bonds. http://dls.maryland.gov/pubs/prod/NoPblTabPodcasts/August-2019-Bond-Sale.mp4 The nationally-regarded Department of Legislative Services staff explains a little-understood but important part of government finance, including: Why does the state government borrow money, through bonds, to pay for capital projects? What does the state’s Triple-A bond rating mean for taxpayers? How does the state…

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Frederick Earns Three AAA Bond Ratings

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner today announced that the three major bond rating agencies reaffirmed the County's AAA bond rating. The ratings from Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s reflect the County's sound fiscal policies, prudent long-range planning, and robust economy. https://twitter.com/JanGardnerExec/status/1167096761724342278 According to a press release: “This is another win for Frederick County residents. Taxpayers will save millions of dollars as a result of our AAA ratings,” Executive Gardner said. “Frederick County can be proud…

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Deadline Approaching for GFOA’s 2020 Awards for Excellence Program

The Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Awards for Excellence in Government Finance recognize innovative contributions in the field of government finance and leading examples of best practice implementation. The awards stress practical, documented work that offers leadership to the profession and promotes improved public finance. The deadline to submit applications is September 30, 2019. https://twitter.com/GFOA/status/1163861046723002378 Entries may be submitted for consideration in one of the following Awards for Excellence categories: Creative Solution to Common Challenge…

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Hogan Announces $10 Million to Expand Broadband to Underserved Areas

In today’s world, internet connectivity is no longer a luxury—it is a necessity. Access to affordable internet, broadband, wireless, and cellular services is an essential component of a county’s economic development and the socio-economic advancements of its residents. Residents benefit from increased economic growth, improved labor market access and outcomes, access to better health care, enhanced civic participation, enriched education opportunities, improved quality of life, and overall competitive and vibrant communities. During his closing address…

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Maryland Retains Triple-AAA Bond Rating, Prepares to Sell $550M in GO Bonds

Maryland State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp announced this week that the three major bond rating agencies have reaffirmed the State’s AAA bond rating. The announcement comes in advance of the upcoming competitive sale of up to $550 million in State General Obligation Bonds on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Proceeds from Maryland's tax-exempt General Obligation Bonds are used to finance important capital projects and improvements, such as public schools, community colleges, university projects, and hospitals. Maryland is…

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State Launches New E-Procurement System

The Maryland Department of General Services' Office of State Procurement this week launched eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA), the State's new e-procurement system. The network features state-of-the-art procurement technology powered by the Ivalua Platform, a global leader in procurement technology. General Services partnered with Nitor, a procurement services firm focused on spend management, to oversee implementation efforts of the new system. eMMA will allow buyers to collaborate with vendors from the bidding and contracting process all the…

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