Large County Coalition Holds Education Roundtable at #MACoCon

The Large County Coalition held a roundtable discussion on education funding at its annual luncheon at this year's MACo Winter Conference. Specifically, members discussed the potential impacts of the Kirwan Commission’s ambitious, multi-billion-dollar overhaul of Maryland’s education system. https://twitter.com/KKinnally_MACo/status/1202641180082757632 The Coalition is a chapter organization within MACo and aims to promote collegiality and cooperation, share information, and develop strategic alliances among Maryland counties with populations greater than 200,000. The Coalition works to ensure that representation…

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Budgeting Best Practices at #MACoCon

With all the talk about funding formulas for Kirwan and other initiatives, it is clear that there is an even greater need for counties to have strong budgeting procedures. At the 2019 MACo Winter Conference Adacademy Core session, "County Financial Management" attendees learned about the budgeting process; important financial terms; how to implement a multi-year plan; and questions to keep in mind when managing your county's budget. It was taught by Carroll County Director of…

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Short-Term Rental Revolution: What’s Your Game Plan?

Lodging is evolving through technology, as many tourists and visitors now seek to stay in shared spaces and other short-term lodging alternatives. While short-term vacation rentals can help diversify tourism by promoting areas that need visitors the most and reducing overcrowding in tourist hotspots, significant challenges remain regarding the regulation and fair and equitable taxation of short-term rental properties. At the MACo Winter Conference session, “Short-Term Rental Revolution: What’s Your Game Plan?” an expert panel…

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The Perfect Storm for County Budgets… Part Deux

A storm is brewing. Rising costs, sluggish growth, unfunded mandates, and greater demand for services all signal turbulent times ahead for county government budgets. Economic instability, shifting demographics, and the ambitious, multi-billion-dollar overhaul of Maryland’s education system only exacerbate the growing pressure on county budgets. At this year’s MACo Winter Conference, MACo’s Budget and Finance Affiliate hosted a panel discussion on the economy, best practices for planning, budgeting, forecasting, and strategies for how counties can…

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Preview the 2020 Session “Big Picture”

A compilation of Issue Papers previews major fiscal and policy issues facing the General Assembly in the year ahead. This resource is a handy guide to the top issues that your legislators will be tackling in 2020 – a great preparation document for county officials in advance of meetings with their local Delegations. Developed by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS), the 2020 Issue Papers are an annual staple for the Annapolis policy-inclined population. They are also…

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Workgroup: Adult-Use Cannabis Legislation Not Ready for Prime Time in 2020 Session

The leaders of the Maryland General Assembly's Marijuana Legalization Workgroup have indicated that they will not be endorsing legislation legalizing recreational use of marijuana for the upcoming 2020 session. Rather, the group will continue to study and work through the remaining legalization issues for a possible path forward in Maryland. The Baltimore Sun reports: “I think the consensus is: We are not recommending legislation this session to legalize adult use,” said Del. Kathleen Dumais, who…

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Maryland Joins Multi-State Appeal Challenging SALT Cap Ruling

Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York today filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to continue litigation against the federal government for its cap on the deduction for state and local taxes (SALT). The SALT deduction allows taxpayers to subtract state and local income, sales and property taxes from their federal tax payment. The 2017 federal tax overhaul capped SALT deductions at $10,000 – a move…

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Sun: It Wasn’t Kirwan’s Job To Say How To Pay For Its Plan

The Baltimore Sun Editorial Board continues its missives on the proposed education plan by refuting the argument that the Kirwan Commission "failed" to develop a financing plan for its recommendations - something that was never in its charge. By now, every stakeholder (and Conduit Street reader) knows the basics:  Maryland is about to fully debate an ambitious and expensive plan to bring our public schools to "world class" status. The plan is the product of…

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State Awards $9 Million in Tax Credits to Revitalize Historic Buildings

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), a division of the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), has awarded eight projects more than $9 million in tax credits in order to encourage private sector investment in the rehabilitation and re-use of historic buildings and promote investment in local economies. The private sector will invest more than $180 million in the eight projects, which are expected to create more than 600 jobs, according…

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