State Closes with $2B Surplus, School Construction to Get Boost

Maryland again closed the Fiscal Year with a revenue surplus -- this time of $2 billion -- which will in-part boost State funding of school construction and capital projects. At the September 14 meeting of the Board of Public Works (BPW), Comptroller Peter Franchot announced that Maryland has closed its books on Fiscal Year 2022 with a revenue surplus of $2 billion in its General Fund, marking the second year in a row that the State’s…

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After Years of Advocacy, JUUL Settlement Represents Significant Win

On Tuesday, September 8th, Attorney General Brian Frosh signaled a massive win for public health advocates across Maryland, publicly unveiling a tentative agreement to join a multi-state settlement with JUUL Labs, a vape product manufacturer, worth over $438.5 million. For years, public health advocates and legislators have sought to curb youth vaping, levying multiple tools to achieve this goal, including public awareness campaigns, new laws, and lawsuits. JUUL held, at one point in time, the…

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Highlights of MDOT Draft Six-Year Capital Budget Plan

The Maryland Department of Transportation recently released its six-year capital budget for transportation projects.  The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) today released its Draft Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP) for fiscal years 2023 to 2028, outlining a record $19.9 billion six-year investment to replace and repair aging infrastructure, expand transit opportunities, assist Maryland's economic recovery and preserve and expand the state's transportation network. The Draft CTP outlines investments in each of MDOT's transportation business units funded by…

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Is Student Loan Forgiveness Taxable? It Depends.

Last week, President Joe Biden announced up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the US Department of Education and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients. Borrowers are eligible for this relief if their income is less than $125,000 ($250,000 for married couples). To ensure a smooth transition to repayment and prevent unnecessary defaults, the pause on federal student loan repayment is extended one final…

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SDAT Launches Tax Credit Awareness Campaign, Encourages Marylanders to Apply Online

The Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) is mailing nearly 124,000 postcards encouraging low-income homeowners and ​renters to​ apply for property tax credits​​. The Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) launched its 2022 Tax Credit Awareness Campaign urging Marylanders to consider whether they may be eligible to receive homeowners' or renters' property tax credits. The online tax credit application system is the quickest and easiest way to find out more information and…

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Sticker Shock! Adjusting for Inflation at #MACoCon

A panel of experts offered insights and best practices for navigating fiscal uncertainty. Inflation is exceptionally high, driving up costs for capital projects and routine service delivery. The tight labor market means county governments are increasing salaries, which puts upward pressure on pension costs. Supply chain issues driven by geopolitical unrest and the global pandemic threaten to delay priority projects. And the looming potential of a recession only adds fuel to the fire. At this…

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Equity and Roads? Join the Diversity Caucus & Women of MACo Luncheon to See How These Issues Intersect

On Thursday afternoon of the 2022 MACo Summer Conference, join Delegate Robbyn Lewis and Thomas D. Peterson, President of the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS), during the Diversity Caucus & Women of MACo Luncheon for an essential discussion regarding equity and public infrastructure. MACo's luncheon speakers will highlight inequities resulting from historically poor public infrastructure investments and their impact on Maryland's communities. Moreover, they will detail their work remedying said impacts, noting the work that…

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Big Changes Ahead for Maryland’s One-Of-A-Kind Budget Process

Maryland stands alone among states in how much power it gives the governor in its budget process. Only a handful of states limit the ability of the legislature to increase spending. And Maryland is the only state in which only the governor can directly add items or amounts to the budget. Section 52 of Article III of the Maryland Constitution prohibits the General Assembly from increasing any budget item, adding any new appropriations to the…

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State Submits ARPA Recovery Plan Performance Report

The State of Maryland has submitted its 2022 American Rescue Plan, State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) Annual Performance Report to the US Department of the Treasury. The report — which details expenditures from March 3, 2021, through June 30, 2022, and includes planned allocations for fiscal 2023 — describes the use of the funds allocated to the state through the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Read the report. “The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the…

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