Tag: Maryland Association of Counties

‘Rain tax’ falls all over the place: Stormwater fees uneven, from a penny to thousands

The state’s 10 most populated counties are required by law to implement a stormwater utility fee by July 1. The revenue will be used to fund watershed protection and restoration programs, designed to prevent pollutants from entering the Chesapeake Bay. Seven jurisdictions have set a fee, but three others are still in the process of setting fees or getting local approval. The fees range from a penny to thousands of dollars.

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Teacher pension shift would cost counties $500 million over next four years

In the Senate’s proposed budget plan, some of the costs of teacher retirement would be shifted to county school boards over the next four years, not to the county governments next year, as Gov. Martin O’Malley had proposed. But the approved proposal would ultimately force counties to give their school boards $500 million more over the next four years.

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State grants more time for local feedback on PlanMaryland

Yielding to pressure from local officials, the state is putting more time – and more feedback – into its comprehensive smart growth plan. The Maryland Department of Planning announced on Thursday that it will allow about two more months for people to review and comment on the final version of PlanMaryland.

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Municipal, county governments do more cooperating than arguing

The Maryland Municipal League representing 157 municipal government is marking its 75th anniversary. “Cities and towns provide basic grassroots meat and potatoes services,” said Scott Hancock, executive director of the Maryland Municipal League. But counties provide those services — like water and sewer, emergency responders, trash and recycling pickup, and parks and recreation — too. Their overlapping duties require a lot of give-and-take.

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Interactive map helps visualize county-by-county pension payments and liabilities

While most of the focus on pension reform for public employees has been on the state as a whole, counties are also finding themselves with growing unfunded liabilities, according to a new interactive chart launched on Tuesday by the Maryland Public Policy Institute.

The pension map plots out the amount that each county and Baltimore City spent on pensions – both in benefits paid out and in the employer contribution – in the last fiscal year.

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O’Malley says he won’t shift teacher pension costs to counties this year

Gov. Martin O’Malley gave county officials from across Maryland some good news at their annual meeting Thursday night, saying he would not seek to shift the huge costs of teacher pensions to them “this year.”

O’Malley said the state needed to make the pension system more sustainable first by either reducing benefits or increasing contributions from employees before shifting those costs – now approaching $1 billion a year – onto county governments.

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