Banter Continues on Teacher Pension Shift to the Counties

As reported in the Gazette, the House is unlikely to support the teacher pension shift approved by the Senate. The head of the Montgomery County House delegation said Thursday the House of Delegates is unlikely to pass a Senate proposal that shifts some of the costs of teacher pensions to the counties. "I think the Montgomery delegation will be strongly opposed," said Chairman Brian J. Feldman (D-Dist. 15) of Potomac. "You simply cannot muster the…

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MACo Opposes Centralization of MBE Certification

MACo Associate Director Andrea Mansfield offered testimony before the House Health and Government Operations Committee this week in opposition to HB 959.  This bill would require the Board of Public Works to develop regulations that establish a State agency with sole authority to certify minority business enterprises (MBE) for all State and local procurements. Ms. Mansfield expressed concern with the one-size-fits-all approach proposed by the bill and stated that jurisdictions need flexibility to consider their…

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MACo Opposes Legislation Creating Business Improvement Districts

MACo Associate Director Andrea Mansfield offered testimony in opposition to HB 1182 before the House Environmental Matters Committee this week.  This bill would set criteria for the establishment of Business Improvement Districts (BID). MACo's paramount concern is the mandate on local government to pass a resolution if the bill criteria are met, without the local government actually approving the BID itself.   It is also unclear how the taxes imposed by the BID would be treated…

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MACo Supports Legislation to Build Upon Clean Energy Loan Program with Amendments

MACo Associate Director Andrea Mansfield offered testimony before the House Economic Matters Committee and submitted testimony to the Senate Finance Committee on March 9 supporting HB 1014/SB 720 with amendments.  These bills build upon legislation that passed last Session authorizing local governments to establish Clean Energy Loan Programs for assisting residential and commercial property owners with financing energy efficient and renewable energy projects.  These loans are paid back through a surcharge placed on the owner's…

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MACo Supports Bill to Give Broader Flexibility to Manage Local Accounts

MACo Associate Director Andrea Mansfield testified in support of House Bill 844 which would allow a local jurisdiction to deposit unexpended or surplus money in any federally insured bank or savings and loan association in excess of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) maximum insurance coverage limit through a networked banking arrangement. This new program, similar to the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (CDARS), would benefit local governments by allowing them to place funds in…

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MACo Opposes Bill to Prohibit Collection of Water and Sewer Charges Through Tax Sale

Maryland Association of Counties Associate Director Andrea Mansfield testified in opposition to Senate Bill 158 which would eliminate the ability of a local government to collect unpaid water and sewer bills through the use of a tax sale.  The tax sale process, or rather the potential for a property to go to a tax sale, presents a much-needed device to ensure that property owners remit payment for their fair share of taxes and charges connected to public services. …

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Joint Work Group issues formal recommendations document

The brief, but official, set of recommendations from the Joint Legislative Work Group on State, County and Municipal Fiscal Relationships has been posted on the Maryland General Assembly website. As previously posted here following the group's final work session, they recommend a number of fiscal and operational changes, and will be seeking leadership from MACo and MML to help implement them across local governments. The Workgroup's recommendations regarding Maintenance of Effort suggest different structure and…

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