Maryland Leaders Approve $63 Million in Budget Cuts
Institute Applauds New Action to Help Close Budget Shortfall
ROCKVILLE, MD (September 6, 2017) – The Maryland Public Policy Institute today applauded a bipartisan vote by the state’s Board of Public Works to cut $63 million in non-essential spending to help close a looming budget shortfall. The state faces a $742 million budget hole in the next fiscal year due in large part to the Maryland General Assembly’s decades-long penchant for mandated spending.
The Institute published a comprehensive analysis of Maryland’s dangerous reliance on mandated spending in January. The report revealed that more than $37 billion in state taxpayer money is effectively on autopilot. Read the report at mdpolicy.org.
“More than 82 cents of every dollar taxpayers send to Annapolis is spent on autopilot,” said Christopher B. Summers. “We applaud the Board of Public Works for doing what legislative leaders have failed to do for decades: turn off autopilot and exercise greater discretion over how the public’s hard-earned tax dollars are spent.”
The Board of Public Works is comprised of Governor Larry Hogan (R), Comptroller Peter Franchot (D), and Treasurer Nancy Kopp (D).
The Institute’s January report offered 3 recommendations to reign in mandated spending:
Align mandatory spending with state revenue: Change the growth rate in mandatory expenditures to be equal to the growth in total revenues. If total revenues only grow by 2 percent, mandatory expenditures and entitlements only grow by 2 percent.
Freeze the quantity or percentage of mandatory expenditures: The Governor’s office proposed a policy in which any new mandatory expenditure must be countered with a repeal or reduction of existing mandates.
Enact structural tax reform: Maryland can reform its regulation and tax structure to increase revenues without dramatically increasing the burden to its citizens. These options include broadening the state’s tax base to become more business friendly, eliminating targeted tax incentives that fail to deliver economic development.
About the Maryland Public Policy Institute: Founded in 2001, the Maryland Public Policy Institute is a nonpartisan public policy research and education organization that focuses on state policy issues. The Institute’s mission is to formulate and promote public policies at all levels of government based on principles of free enterprise, limited government, and civil society. Learn more at mdpolicy.org.