- Taliban vow to ‘use all force’ to disrupt Afghan elections
- Atheists sue to remove ‘Ground Zero Cross’ from 9/11 museum
- Bishop in Aleppo: ‘We Christians live in fear in Syria’
- Oscar Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flubs daylight saving time advice: ‘Turn your clocks back’
- Americans don’t support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt ‘Boss Hogg’ town from map
- N.C. math whiz to unveil secret of March Madness picks
- An appealing offer: Chiquita merges with Fyffes to make world’s largest banana firm
- Amnesty International says Syria guilty of war crimes for food blockade
Maryland’s government spending rise ranks seventh in nation
Maryland increased government spending this year more than any state in the mid-Atlantic region, according to a study released Tuesday.
The Fiscal Survey of the States found that Maryland is slated to spend $14.7 billion in general funds during fiscal 2012, a $1.5 billion increase over the previous year. The 11.4 percent increase is the seventh-largest, compared to the other 49 states, according to the twice-annual study, which is sponsored by the National Governors Association and National Association of State Budget Officers.
State budgets throughout the country increased by an average of just 2.9 percent this fiscal year.
Maryland officials disputed the study’s findings, while conservative business groups seized upon the results as proof that Democratic leaders in the state have avoided making necessary cuts to help residents rebound from the economic downturn.
“These numbers clearly show that Maryland has a spending problem,” said Kim Burns, president of Maryland Business for Responsive Government. “Maryland’s political leadership continues to feed the beast with hard-earned taxpayer dollars through tax and fee increases instead of looking for cost savings in the budget.”
The 100-page study found most states have made small spending increases in the past year, as the economy has shown modest signs of recovery. However, it also noted that states are hampered by lagging revenues, continuing infrastructure and education needs and a murky federal budget picture that could bring more cuts.
Last year, Maryland was one of just 12 states that cut general-fund spending - reducing it by 1.4 percent. But this year’s 11.4-percent increase outpaced such neighboring states as Virginia, which tacked on 7.1 percent in spending this year.
Delaware increased its spending by 9.3 percent in this year’s budget, while West Virginia upped spending by 8.2 percent. Pennsylvania reduced expenditures by 4.1 percent.
Nevada and California instituted this year’s largest spending cuts, trimming 6.9 percent and 6.1 percent from their respective expenditures.
Alaska and North Dakota had the largest spending increases at 21.3 percent and 20.7 percent, respectively.
Representatives for Gov. Martin O’Malley, Democrat, said the study’s results were “distorted” by the state’s need this year to replace lost federal stimulus funds. They also said Maryland has curbed spending more effectively than many of its neighbors over the past two years.
O’Malley spokeswoman Takirra Winfield said Maryland spent nearly $900 million in stimulus funds for education and public safety in the past two years, forcing the state to use its own funds to replace the federal dollars this year.
She also said many states burned through most of their stimulus dollars two years ago, forcing them to replace the funds and increase spending last year - one year earlier than Maryland.
“Maryland chose instead to prudently spread the dollars over two years, which allowed the governor to fully fund the growth in education aid in both years,” Ms. Winfield said.
In the past two years, Maryland has raised spending by 9.8 percent, which is less than four of its five bordering states, according to data provided in the study.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Hill joined The Washington Times in February 2011 as a Maryland political reporter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Md. drivers could face eventual doubling of gas tax
- Federal appeals court restores Maryland's concealed carry law
- Md. bill would end student suspensions for mimicking gun behavior
- Maryland Senate passes bill decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana
- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell assailed on transportation
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- Investigators puzzle: How does a 777 jetliner just disappear into thin air?
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again