State closes FY21 with $2.5 billion balance
Maryland’s Comptroller recently announced the state closed out the 2021 fiscal year with a roughly $2.5 billion unassigned balance in its general fund. The balance was thanks in large part to federal stimulus funding and higher tax revenues than expected in 2020. Almost immediately, elected officials and interest groups laid out their hopes for the surplus. Governor Hogan was chief among those releasing his plans for the unallocated dollars. His plans include setting aside $1.67 billion for the state’s Rainy Day Fund. He also wants to provide tax relief for retirees – a long sought after goal of his administration.
As a follow up to the news out of the Comptroller’s Office, the state’s Board of Revenue Estimates – consisting of Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, and Budget Secretary David R. Brinkely – accepted updated financial projections that predict an increase of nearly $1 billion in state tax revenues for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2022. That increase constitutes a 5% increase since the board last set estimates in March.
All of this news means the Governor and General Assembly will have a lot to determine when the legislature convenes in January next year to take up Hogan’s budget plan for the 2023 fiscal year. This will be the final budget acted upon before the elections in November where all three statewide offices, Governor and Comptroller included, and the 188 General Assembly seats will be on the ballot.
NFIB will continue to urge fiscal responsibility, tax relief for Maryland small businesses, and sound spending policies.