Delegate Floats Idea: School Taxes in Maryland?

During a House Ways and Means briefing, a leadership Delegate asked, and mused, about the potential to grant local Boards of Education independent taxing authority. January 20 was "Local Government Day" in the House Ways and Means Committee - featuring a technical but informative set of presentations by legislative staff, MACo, and the Maryland Municipal League. See Conduit Street coverage of the MACo briefing. As MACo's presentation on county priorities wrapped, Committee members asked various…

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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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Kirwan Senate Briefing: Revised Enrollment Will Change The Numbers

The Senate Committee overseeing education policy received a broad update on the Kirwan Commission recommendations - and a sense that the plan is still evolving. The Senate Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs held a briefing on January 14 with Dr. William "Brit" Kirwan, chair of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, and the Commission's lead staffer, DLS's Rachel Hise. The briefing covered the full range of its recommendations. Watch the full…

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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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Now Available: FY 21 Heritage Tourism Grants

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) is now accepting applications for FY21 grants. The purpose of the program is to assist and encourage the preservation of historical, archaeological, natural, and cultural resources and support economic development through heritage tourism across Maryland. Eligible applicants for MHAA funding include non-profit organizations, and local, state, and federal government entities. Businesses and individuals are not eligible to participate. MHAA grants support both capital (acquisition, new construction, and historic preservation)…

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