Comptroller Franchot Statement on BRE

Comptroller Peter Franchot, chairman of the Board of Revenue Estimates, along with David R. Brinkley, secretary of the Maryland Department of Budget and Management, Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Andrew Schaufele, director of the Bureau of Revenue Estimates and executive secretary of the board, met Thursday morning in the Assembly Room of the Louis L. Goldstein Treasury Building in Annapolis.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (March 9, 2017) – Today, the Board of Revenue Estimates voted to reduce the revenue projections for the State of Maryland for Fiscal Year 2017 by $35.3 million and slightly increase our projection for Fiscal Year 2018 by $2.3 million – a total reduction of $33 million. These new revenue estimates are greatly influenced by the civilian federal hiring freeze that has been imposed by the Trump Administration.

Following is a statement from Comptroller Franchot:

“These lost jobs would have a direct impact on Maryland’s economy, through lost wages and lower sales tax revenues. With an administration in Washington that has proven to be unpredictable, and whose words and actions have caused great uncertainty at home and abroad, we must continue to be vigilant and prudent with our fiscal resources.

“While our economy greatly benefits from the federal workforce, we must also do everything we can to support and grow nongovernment industries and enterprises, especially in the bio-health and life sciences sector, IT and cybersecurity, and manufacturing. And we must continue our commitment to funding public schools and investing in higher education.

“At the same time, we must continue to make prudent decisions that keep our state’s fiscal house in order. As this new economic forecast indicates, we don’t expect to see any major increases in employment, personal income, and wages; a continuing reminder that this economic recovery hasn’t felt like a recovery for so many hardworking Maryland families across our state.

“With a little over a month until the General Assembly adjourns for the year, I once again urge legislators to reject any proposals that would increase or create taxes and fees. We need to provide the stability and relief our working-class citizens and small businesses need to survive during these uncertain times. Furthermore, we must remain smart and forward-thinking about how we spend limited taxpayer dollars and accrue more debt, the latter of which can be dangerous to our fiscal stability in the years ahead.

“The fiscal realities we face require us to invest in the things that we need, and forego many of the things that we simply want. This is the same principle that so many households and business owners use when planning and executing their own budgets, and we have a solemn responsibility to do the same as their elected representatives.

“I am confident that if we continue on the current path of fiscal prudence, we will be well-positioned to emerge from these economic and fiscal challenges stronger than before, and we will be properly prepared to weather through future disturbances in our economy.”

 

Media contact: Joe Shapiro, 410-260-7305 (office) 443-871-2244 (cell)
Alan Brody 410-260-6346 (office) 443-924-1473 (cell)