Saturday, March 24, 2012

A House-Senate conference committee will meet very soon to work out a final budget for Maryland through June 2013.

Via Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute and Maryland Association of Non-profits: "The Senate and House have each now settled on their respective budget packages. Both versions include budget cuts, progressive revenue measures, and a shift of a portion of the cost of teachers’ retirement to local government budgets. . . .

[T]he Senate has a larger revenue package, which would leave a smaller revenue shortfall in the 2013 and future sessions. The Senate package also leaves a larger fund balance at year end. In the event that Maryland’s finances are affected by an economic downturn or federal budget cuts, we are less likely to need mid-year budget cuts under the Senate proposal.

The Senate scheduled the teacher retirement shift evenly over four years. The House version does it in just three years, and it’s “front-loaded:” passing ½ of the cost to counties in the first year.

Both versions increase the tax on cigars to be more comparable with the tax on cigarettes. The House version includes a significant tax increase on chewing tobacco, whereas the Senate version increases chewing tobacco taxes only slightly."

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