Spring 2023 Update. (See More Information below for details)
County Budget. On May 25, 2023, the County Council approved the FY2023-24 Montgomery County $6.7 Billion operating budget and amendments to the FY23-28 Capital Improvements Program (CIP). According to the Council’s press release, the budget Council’s budget”… makes historic investment in education, provides essential services for residents and funds all collective bargaining agreements, while reducing [the] proposed property tax increase by more than half and achieving savings across government operations.” County Executive Elrich was critical of the Council’s budget, saying that it did not adequately meet the County’s needs, especially for schools. See alsothis statement by our District 4 Councilmember Kate Stewart about the budget and the tax increases.
County Taxes. As a result of the actions by the County Executive and the Council, direct and indirect taxes for most county residents will be going up. These include recordation taxes, levied when homes are bought, school and transportation impact assessments paid by developers and which may or may not be included in the price of the units being developed; and an increase in property taxes, initially proposed by the County Executive at 10% but reduced by the Council to 4.7%.
County Revenues. At the same time, County revenues are projected to decline with a revenue deficit projected in 2025.
County Legislative Activities. While the county budget, especially the proposed tax increases of various types took up much of the council’s time in the spring, members also focused on rising crime, including a significant increase in hate crime incidents; on rent stabilization; and on housing, among other issues. See this newsletter from our Councilmember Kate Stewart.
County Economic Development. Citing a need to improve the business climate, Montgomery County Council President Evan Glass announced a new economic development roadmap for the county, with the intention of making it easier for small businesses to operate and to encourage local development. Currently, however, the County’s economic progress continues to be weak.
State Legislative Activities. The District 18 members of the Maryland General Assembly [MGA], which includes Parkwood, issued a summary of what they considered to be the MGA’s major legislative accomplishments at the end of the Assembly’s 2023 session in April. Major topics included 1) protecting the right to choose 2) gun violence 3) cannabis reform4)the FY2024 state budget 5) the environment 6) legislation that reflects our core values and address critical needs.
A major initiative of the governor was a new law that creates a service year program for graduating high school seniors.
The Department of Legislative Services of the Maryland General Assembly issued a Review of the 2023 legislative session referred to as The 90 Day Report. It is comprehensive; major issues are listed on page 9 of the report.
State Budget. The General Assembly passed a balanced budget for next year that made major investments in education, health care, and transportation. A report by state’s Board of Revenue Estimates projected a $478 million revenue dip during the current and next fiscal year.
- County Legislative Plans and Actions 2023
- County Revenue
- County Budget FY2024
- State Legislative Plans and Actions
- State Revenue and Budget: FY2024, FY23
- 2020 State and County Ballot Questions
County Legislative Plans and Actions 2023
2023 Spring Update. While the county budget, especially the proposed tax increases of various types took up much of the council’s time in the spring, members also focused on rising crime, including a significant increase in hate crime incidents; on rent stabilization; and on housing, among other issues. See this newsletter from our Councilmember Kate Stewart.
2023 Winter Update
County Executive Marc Elrich says he wants to address housing affordability, economic development and climate change. He has voiced support for rent stabilization, which other council members including Will Jawando and Kristin Mink have also said is a priority in making housing more affordable in the county. Elrich to achieve the County’s goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 100 percent in the next 12 years by further expanding solar, electrifying the County fleet, investing in electric vehicle infrastructure, and continuing to implement and improve upon our smart and innovative policies on building energy standards. He has also stated that “We must also drive home the message that our roads are meant for more than just cars. We are putting record amounts of money into our Flash Bus Rapid Transit program and will work with our State delegation and new State leadership to keep that progress going. In the past, business leaders have cited our lack of mass transit options as a reason to avoid moving to Montgomery County. We cannot let this issue continue to act like a roadblock to our economic development.” New County Council President Evan Glass wants to address homelessness and affordable housing, public transportation, climate change, and mental health support to help residents countywide. Updated January 14, 2023
The Council and the Planning Board will also begin implementing the Thrive Montgomery 2050 plan, an update to the county’s general master plan that is expected to guide development for the next 30 years. Council Members can implement the goals of Thrive through zoning text amendments, economic development legislation and policies, and other methods in the coming year.
Also in planning changes, the county will appoint new permanent members to the Planning Board in the new year. The council intends to appoint successors for three temporary board members before Feb. 28. The council is expected to appoint the remaining two positions, including the chair, by June 14. State Sen. Ben Kramer (D-Dist. 19) has proposed two state bills that would establish a task force that would examine shifting some planning power to the executive branch. The majority of the County Council voted against recommending that Montgomery County’s state delegation should support those bills. The bills will be reviewed by the General Assembly. Updated January 14, 2023
2023 Spring Update.
County Revenues. Revenue is expected to decline with a deficit projected in 2025. As reported in Bethesda Beat, now MoCo 360, the Montgomery County budget for fiscal year 2024 projects a structural deficit of $145 million in the following year, according to county budget officials. As reported, some council members are worried about the implications. How can the county increase revenues over the longer term so it can meet its budget requirements while balancing concerns for the environment, transportation, and schools? This is likely to be a major issue in future elections.
Economic Development. Citing a need to improve the business climate, Montgomery County Council President Evan Glass announced a new economic development roadmap for the county, with the intention of making it easier for small businesses to operate and to encourage local development. Currently, however, the County’s economic progress continues to be weak. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that from 2017-2021, private sector employment in the DMV region grew by an average of 3.1% while Montgomery County declined by 6.8%. There were some positive signs: the County’s unemployment rate was 2.8% and the County is reported to be the fourth largest hub in the nation for the bio-life sciences industry. The state and county are collaborating on the creation of an Institute for Health Computing that will lead research activities in artificial intelligence, machine learning and virtual reality, and serve as an anchor to academia, innovation and entrepreneurship.
2023 Winter Update.
Job Growth. The county’s pace of job growth and business creation has lagged D.C. and Virginia for more than a decade. Its budget growth has slowed. Its population growth and homebuilding have slowed. It has seen many years of net exodus in adjusted gross income, with people moving in making less money than people moving out. Some are even questioning the performance of the schools, which have long been regarded as the county’s crown jewel. Two years ago, when Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney noted that Prince George’s County was outperforming MoCo on job creation, county politicians reacted with shock.
The chart below illustrates the problem.
Economic Indicators. The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation and Montgomery Planning publish a joint report of economic indicators that track a range of indicators, including resident labor force, employment, commercial real estate, permit issuance activity, and venture capital information. The Q3 2022 report [Jul-Sep] showed that total employment continued to make strides since September 2021; total employment grew by more than 9,000 and unemployment is 1.7 percentage points lower. Still, the county’s total labor force remains smaller than it was in September 2019, prior to the pandemic. Updated January 20, 2023.
Establishing and Maintaining a Business-Friendly Environment. As part of the FY22 Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) work program, the County Council assigned OLO with the task of preparing a report that examines government practices intended to assist the creation or relocation of businesses or franchises. The Council requested information on economic development strategies that have been determined to establish and maintain a “business-friendly” environment that supports entrepreneurs and existing companies that dobusiness in Montgomery County. The OLO report can be found here. Updated January 20, 2023.
2020 Updates. Two 2020 council initiatives aimed at improving the county’s long term economic condition were passed over the County Executive’s veto.
- Council Bill 29-20 as passed offers 15-year property tax breaks on Metro development projects in the hope that this will spur high rise development activity near Metro stations.
- The Council modified and then accepted the County Planning Board’s updated Subdivision Staging Policy, now referred to as Growth and Infrastructure Policy. See this website for details. This policy requires the government to evaluate public infrastructure capacities, such as schools and roads, to determine whether they are sufficient to support a proposed development project before approving that project. According to some, the changes to the policy reflect more of an emphasis on growth rather than on balancing the infrastructure to support new development. Updated January 30, 2022
County Budget FY23-24
On May 25, 2023, the County Council approved the FY2023-24 Montgomery County $6.7 Billion operating budget and amendments to the FY23-28 Capital Improvements Program (CIP). According to the Council’s press release, the budget Council’s budget”… makes historic investment in education, provides essential services for residents and funds all collective bargaining agreements, while reducing [the] proposed property tax increase by more than half and achieving savings across government operations.”
See the full text of the press release for more about some of the priorities funded by the Council. Among others, these included Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), which accounts for half the budget; public safety, including the police department; negotiated agreements with unions; economic development; food security; health and human services; affordable housing; the environment; WSSC; and the Capital Improvements Program (CIP).
County Executive Elrich was critical of the Council’s budget, saying that it did not adequately meet the County’s needs, especially for schools.
See this statement by our District 4 Councilmember Kate Stewart about the budget and the tax increases. She voted for the final budget but opposed to the tax increase at the approved level. She was concerned it should have been somewhat higher because “…we are pushing to lower the tax rate by dipping into reserves that otherwise would be used for emergency spending thereby creating fiscal challenges. The bottom line is this is not sustainable.” She raised two concerns in particular – inadequate funding for “unhoused residents” who need more overflow sheltering and assistance, and mental health services – “we simply have not acknowledged or adequately addressed the mental health crisis taking place across the county.”
Taxes. As a result of the actions by the County Executive and the Council, direct and indirect taxes for most county residents will be going up. These include recordation taxes, levied when homes are bought, school and transportation impact assessments paid by developers and which may or may not be included in the price of the units being developed; and THE BIG ONE, an increase in property taxes, initially proposed by the County Executive at 10% but reduced by the Council to 4.7%. See this statement by Councilmember Gabe Albornoz reported at the end of an article by Adam Pugnacco on the topic.
Capital Improvements Program. The CE has submitted his proposed amendments to the Capital Improvements Program. His press release contains a summary of what projects were added to, revised, or delayed. This includes an additional year delay for the Summit Avenue Extension, with design presumably in FY28 and completion in FY32.
[The county’s capital budget is called the Capital Improvements Program (CIP). It is a six-year spending plan containing individual projects and streams of expenditures (like road resurfacing). Its largest funding sources are general obligation (G.O.) bonds, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the county; state and federal aid; impact taxes on new construction projects; recordation taxes on home sales; cash and many other smaller line items. Full CIPs are approved in even years (like 2020 and 2022) while amended CIPs are approved in odd years (like 2023). The current CIP applies to FY23-28.]
FY2022-2023 County Budget
- May 26, 2022: The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a $6.3 billion operating budget for fiscal 2023, which begins July 1, and a $5.3 billion capital budget for fiscal 2023 to 2028. The operating budget represents roughly a $300 million increase over spending for fiscal 2022, which ends June 30. It also keeps the average property tax rate at 97.85 cents per $100 of assessed value. The income tax offset credit will also stay at $692 for each eligible resident, the same as last year. More detailed information can be found in these sources:
- Montgomery County Council Press release
- OMB website
- Councilmember Friedson’s written budget statement
- Councilmember Friedson’s remarks at the end of the budget session
- Remarks by other Councilmembers
- Bethesda Beat summary article
Updated September 28, 2022
State Legislative Plans and Actions
2023 Spring Update.
The District 18 members of the Maryland General Assembly [MGA], which includes Parkwood, issued the following summary of what they considered to be the MGA’s major legislative accomplishments at the end of the Assembly’s 2023 session on April 10. The members of D-18 are Senator Jeff Waldstreicher and Delegates Aaron Kaufman, Emily Shetty, and Jared Solomon.
Protecting the Right to Choose. Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose. In doing so, our highest court turned its back on American women and decades of settled law. As lawmakers, it is our job to be prepared for moments like this. The District 18 Team met the moment:
- We enshrined an individual’s right to reproductive freedom in the Maryland Constitution (as required by law, this constitutional amendment will appear on your 2024 ballot)
- We shielded patients, doctors, and other health professionals from the anti-choice laws of other states, ensuring that Maryland will remain a sanctuary for those seeking and providing reproductive care.
- We required the Maryland Health Care Commission to protect the confidentiality of patients who have obtained reproductive health care in the State.
- We instructed our institutions of higher learning to develop reproductive health services plans in consultation with their students.
Cracking Down on Gun Violence. Maryland has spent a generation passing common-sense gun control legislation. We have banned assault rifles like the AR-15, required universal background checks, and outlawed “ghost guns.” Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Bruen decision jeopardized all that hard work. This session, the District 18 Team united behind one common goal – stopping the senseless loss of life by cracking down on gun violence:
- We passed the Gun Safety Act of 2023, which substantially limits where individuals may carry firearms.
- We raised the age for regulated firearms from 18 to 21.
- We passed Jaelynn’s Law, which requires firearms to be safely stored, locked and unloaded, and not accessible to children.
- We strengthened our firearm permitting process to ensure that guns don’t end up in the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves or others.
- We directed the Maryland State Police Gun Center to track all firearms surrendered through protective orders.
Cannabis Reform. As you may know, Maryland voters approved a ballot measure to legalize adult use cannabis last November. In line with our constitutional duties, the General Assembly set out to form a regulatory framework and tax structure that ensures a safe, equitable cannabis market. Here’s what we did:
- We created the Maryland Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Commission and established licensing and tax measures for recreational cannabis sales.
We ensured that the majority of the State’s expected tax revenue from recreational cannabis will be reinvested in communities most harmed by the War on Drugs.
- We made sure our criminal code was updated to account for legalization.
A Budget That Leaves No Marylander Behind. The General Assembly passed a balanced budget for next year that secures our state’s financial future while continuing to invest in education, health care, and transportation. Here’s what we did in the 2024 budget:
- We continued to make record investments in public education, including $900 million for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, so every student has a chance to succeed.
- We included $81 million in new behavioral health investments so we can better address the mental health crisis in Maryland and we enhanced investments in the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and other benefits that support working families.
- We increased investments in our state workforce so we can provide competitive salaries and recruit and retain great workers as we seek to rebuild state government.
Investing in Our Community. Each year, the District 18 Team fights hard to bring state investment directly back to the communities we represent. Collectively, the Montgomery County state delegation was able to bring over a billion dollars in capital investments back to the county. Some of the specific District 18 projects that received funding this year include:
- AHC Inc. & Habitat for Humanity: $250,000 to help build a child care center in the new affordable housing development in Wheaton
Bethesda Farm Women’s Market Parks: $1 million to assist with the transformation of Bethesda surface parking lots into parks
- Dalewood Park: $250,000 to replace the existing playground and make open space improvements in Wheaton
Holy Cross Hospital: $2 million for expanded community services in Silver Spring North Bethesda Metro Station: $12.6 million toward a new second entrance
- North Bethesda/White Flint Redevelopment: $8 million for infrastructure to assist with the redevelopment and build-out of the newly formed University of Maryland Institute for Health Computing
Northwood High School: $65 million for construction of a new high school
- Rockview Elementary School: $817,000 for renovation
- Round House Theatre: $1 million to assist with expansion plan
- Torah School: $150,000 to renovate the outdoor basketball courts in Silver Spring
- Town of Kensington: $800,000 to support redevelopment
- Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center: $1 million to help construct the center
- Wheaton Forest Local Park: $195,000 for renovations and the creation of a walking loop trail in Wheaton
Fighting for Our Environment. Climate change is an existential threat to our way of life. It is a priority for the District 18 Team to protect our environment and exceed our state’s aggressive climate goals. Here are some of our environmental achievements:
- We modernized our forest preservation strategy by stipulating that all development projects must proceed with no net loss of trees.
- We removed the sunset from the state’s successful community solar program to make the program permanent and expand equitable access to renewable energy.
- We created new building standards to decrease energy use and minimize the adverse impacts on birds and wildlife.
- We set Maryland on a path to electrify trucks, delivery vans, and school buses in order to reduce emissions in our transportation sector.
- We expanded offshore wind power by investing in coordinated transmission infrastructure andthe full build-out of existing offshore wind lease areas.
Upholding Our Values. Our goal is to foster a just society where everyone has an opportunity to thrive. This session, the District 18 Team helped pass several significant pieces of legislation that reflect our core values and address critical needs. Here’s a brief overview of some of these vital bills:
- Data shows that victims of child sexual abuse do not typically come forward until years into adulthood. We passed legislation to remove the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse to allow those victims to seek justice regardless of how much time has passed.
Under the previous administration, the Maryland 529 Program came under fire for miscalculations and mismanagement. The legislature addressed the program’s ongoing issues by transferring responsibility of the program to the State Treasurer and phasing out the Prepaid Plan.
- We took significant steps to ensure healthcare equity for the transgender community by mandating that Medicaid provide comprehensive coverage for transgender individuals.
We made the expansion of Maryland’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) permanent, expanding the credit to more low-income families and putting us on a path to end childhood poverty.
- We collaborated with prosecutors, advocates, and survivors to eliminate the spousal defense for rape, making our legal system more just.
The Department of Legislative Services of the Maryland General Assembly issues a Review of the 2023 legislative session referred to as The 90 Day Report. It is comprehensive; major issues are listed on page 9 of the report.
A major initiative of the governor was a new law that creates a service year program for graduating high school seniors. Governor Wes Moore signed into law a first-in-the-nation bill creating a statewide service year program for graduating seniors that he hopes will become a national model. As envisioned by Moore, the program would have 200 participants in its first year. By 2027, the program could include up to 2,000 high school graduates, all of whom would be paid a stipend during their service. At the signing, Lt. Governor Aruna Miller said the program would be “a pathway for young people to serve their communities and gain real-world professional skills.”
2023 Winter Update
GOVERNOR MOORE’S GOALS. The governor’s budget, released January 20, 2023 reflects some of his primary goals, including increases for education and transportation programs, no new taxes, and a suite of legislative initiatives intended to create a more “competitive and equitable economy” in the state.
GENAERAL ASSEMBLY GOAL. State Senate President Bill Ferguson offered a preview of the issues lawmakers are likely to focus on. He identified mental health, transportation and workforce development as likely priorities for the legislature. He also said the new wave of state leaders need to pay careful attention to the learning and social deficits experienced by children as a result of the pandemic. Obstacles children faced during the pandemic are part of a broader set of mental health challenges families encountered, the lawmaker said. He expressed optimism that “high-value tutoring” and other elements of the state’s new educational “Blueprint” initiative will help overcome them. And he called on employers to offer supports for workers who need them. Ferguson also called climate change “the question for our age” and “an existential threat for humanity.” He said lawmakers intend to build upon the landmark climate measure they passed this year, which sets ambitious energy and emissions goals for the state over the next decade.
District 18 Members. (This is Parkwood’s district).
Delegate Aaron Kaufman, who is beginning his first term, has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
Delegate Emily Shetty was named to House leadership as Democratic Caucus Chair. In addition, she has been assigned to the House Appropriations Committee, where she will serve as Vice Chair of the subcommittee on healthcare.
Delegate Jared Solomon was appointed House Chairman on the Joint Audit and Evaluation Committee. In addition, he will continue serving as Vice Chair of the subcommittee on education. .
Senator Waldstreicher been re-appointed to Senate leadership as Vice Chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee.
County Delegation Bills. See this list of bills proposed by members of the County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly.
The legislature’s Department of Legislative Services has issued its summary report of the 2022 session. The report contains detailed information on all legislative actions, including the budget as well as other policy matters. Updated September 28, 2022
State Revenue and Budget
2023 Spring Update
As reported above by our D-18 Delegates, the General Assembly passed a balanced budget for next year that invests in education, health care, and transportation, including:
- Record investments in public education, including $900 million for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, so every student has a chance to succeed.
- $81 million in new behavioral health investments so we can better address the mental health crisis in Maryland and we enhanced investments in the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and other benefits that support working families.
- Increased investments in our state workforce so we can provide competitive salaries and recruit and retain great workers as we seek to rebuild state government.
See also the list above of specific D-18 investments.
BUT, revenue decline predicted for FY25. A report by state’s Board of Revenue Estimates projected a $478 million revenue dip during the current and next fiscal year. Overall, the fiscal writedown equals about 1% of previously anticipated revenue. The news was bad, but not altogether unexpected. The effect of decreased revenue on future years is more pronounced. Governor Moore’s initial budget proposal included a $340 million structural surplus — meaning that ongoing revenues were estimated at about $340 million more than ongoing expenses. Now, that has fallen to a projected $60 million structural deficit, far below legislative goals of a $100 million structural surplus. Comptroller Lierman told lawmakers that her office would produce a report later this year that would detail the future outlook for revenues dedicated to education reform.
2023 Winter Update
Gov. Wes Moore (D) unveiled his first state budget for FY 2023-24 on January 20, 2023, a $63.1 billion spending plan.
Key items noted by Moore in his budget presentation
- State agencies have a 13.4% vacancy rate, compared to 6% a decade ago.
- Over the past decade Maryland’s GDP grew by 11%, compared to a 23% growth in GDP nationally. In 2022 Maryland ranked 47th among states and the District of Columbia in overall “economic momentum;” 45th when it came to change in personal income; and was tied for 40th in population growth.
- Moore pledged to add $500 million in extra spending for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (Education)
- Added $500 million for transportation to his spending plan, citing underfunding for projects such as the Purple Line.
Overview and Analysis. See this Overview for more details. For more analysis and comments by those both for and against some of the items in the budget, see these Maryland Matters articles:
- Analysis: In budget introduction, Moore takes down Hogan policies
- Moore introduces $63.1 billion budget, sets focus on expanding state’s economy
Updated January 21, 2023
State Financial Condition. Maryland is well-equipped to survive a mild recession, fiscal analysts have told state lawmakers — thanks in part to all the federal largesse that has come the state’s way in recent years. See Maryland Matters report
David Romans, coordinator of fiscal and policy analysis at the Department of Legislative Services, conceded that while there were fears of the state taking huge financial hits during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal aid has bolstered the state budget along with stronger than projected tax revenues. The federal government alone has accounted for an extra $25 billion in state coffers over the past three years, Romans told lawmakers.
Revenue estimates show the state government running annual budget surpluses of $1.5 billion through fiscal year 2025, the legislature’s analysts said, though it would drop to $600 million in FY 2028 due to a shortfall in designated funding that year for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, the pricey education reform plan that is slowly being implemented.
But the fiscal analysts told lawmakers that current surpluses, including a more robust “Rainy Day Fund” than usual, leave budget writers with an array of options for potentially lean times.
Whether a recession hits Maryland in the coming year remains an unknown. Updated January 14, 2023
FY2023 Budget. The current fiscal year ends in June 2023. The status of the budget is available here. As noted above, surpluses are projected through FY2025. The summary of the final budget will be linked here when it is available.
Delegate Marc Korman, District 16, a member of House of Delegates Appropriations Committee, reports the following regarding the state’s FY2023 budget and projected revenues:
- Budget FY2023
- $2.4 billion added to the Rainy Day Fund to protect state finances in case of future fiscal uncertainty.
- $350 million in tax relief, including a tax credit for retirees and a sales tax exemption for some essential goods.
- Almost $8 billion for public school support and full funding of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, including approximately $900 million for the operations of Montgomery County Public Schools.
- Grants to the arts and tourism community still reeling from COVID-19.
- Support for colleges and universities to cap in-state student tuition increases at 2%.
- Funding for expanding Medicaid to cover dental benefits.
- Expanding Temporary Cash Assistance to those in need.
- Expanding funding for summer meals for needy students.
- Support to cut down the Autism Waiver waiting list.
- In District 16 and across Montgomery County, the capital–or construction–budget as passed includes:
- $12 million for the Bethesda Metro South Entrance being constructed in conjunction with the Purple Line.
- $3 million for new park space around the Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market in Downtown Bethesda.
- $500,000 for Round House Theatre renovations.
- $130,000 for Glen Echo Park’s parking lot rehabilitation project.
- $600,000 for Little Falls Stream Valley Park maintenance.
- $1.25 million for the Housing Opportunities Commission and Montgomery County project at The Metropolitan to stop chronic flooding.
- $500,000 for the Glen Echo Fire Department.
- $63.4 million for Montgomery County Bus Rapid Transit.
- $8.8 million for Montgomery County to acquire zero-emission buses.
- $10 million for White Flint infrastructure improvements.
- Tens of millions of dollars for Montgomery County school construction, including funds through a special program for school districts with high enrollment.
Updated September 28, 2022
FY2022 Budget. Maryland ended FY2022 with another unanticipated budget surplus — and this year some of that windfall will automatically be redirected to state savings accounts, school construction programs and state employee wage increases.Contributing to the windfall were personal income tax revenues, which came in 15.7% higher than projected, a 19.6% increase in sales and use taxes, and a 16.3% increase in corporate income tax, after companies saw rebounding profit growths.But Comptroller Franchot and other top fiscal leaders urged caution in spending Wednesday, citing concerns about a future economic downturn.
The March Update of the Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates reported that income and sales tax revenue have come in at higher levels than expected, leading to an upward revision. These revisions are actually conservative, as personal income tax growth–for example–has been up 11.3% so far and would have to plummet to less than 1.9% to hit the estimate. Employment is still below pre-pandemic levels by 100,000 jobs and, despite these strong aggregate figures, many are suffering. Inflation and the geopolitical situation also create risk–to revenue and to health and safety and security. The presentation is here. The official write-up is here.And the full meeting can be watched here.
Updated September 28, 2022
Archived but Important
2020 Ballot Questions
Both the State and the County had important constitutional and charter questions on the 2020 ballot.
State Ballot Questions
Background: In November 2020 Maryland voters approved two state ballot questions: 1] A constitutional amendment that authorizes the General Assembly, beginning in FY2024, to increase, diminish, or add items to the budget as long as it does not exceed the proposed budget submitted by the governor; and 2] A referendum to approve the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland to authorize sports and events betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education.
More Information: See the PRA Fall 2020 newsletter.
County Ballot Questions
Background: In November 2020 Montgomery County voters approved two county ballot questions: 1] To remove a cap that limits how much the county’s property tax revenue can increase in a single year. Requires all nine council members to approve an increase in the tax rate; and 2] To expand the council from nine seats to 11 seats. Seven members would be elected by district. The other four seats would remain at large.
More Information: See the PRA Fall 2020 newsletter.