A long-term balanced budget is being forecast in Maryland for the first time in nearly two decades, the governor said.
In a news release, Gov. Larry Hogan highlighted a five-point plan for how the state will spend a $2.5 billion surplus that includes retirement tax relief, direct tax relief, additional relief for underserved residents, along with enhancements for state employees.
“The entire mission of my administration has been to leave our state in a stronger fiscal position than when we found it, and that is exactly what we have done,” Hogan said in the release. “With this budget framework, my message is simple – as long as I am governor, I will continue to fight for fiscal discipline, I will continue working hard every single day to make it easier for Maryland families, small businesses, and retirees to stay in our state, and I will continue fighting to allow Marylanders to keep more of their hard-earned money in their own pockets so that we can continue changing Maryland for the better.”
The state is projecting a long-term balanced budget, the release reads, for the first time since 1999.
According to the release, the governor is set to invest $1.67 billion into the state’s rainy day fund as a measure to have extra cash on hand for future potential recessions and crises.
Hogan said he will seek major tax relief for retirees, who, according to the release, already face a “crippling tax burden.”
Additional direct tax relief built into the plan would build on the RELIEF Act of 2021, which features the largest tax cut in state history, according to the release.
Relief for underserved Maryland residents is also built into the plan that will feature targeted relief for families struggling to make ends meet amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the release, the state has already doled out more than 420,000 direct relief checks to those in need combined with more than $100 million to support small businesses and nonprofit organizations in the form of grants.
Hogan also said his plan will feature benefits for state employees in the fall when collective bargaining is set to begin for public employees, directing the Department of Budget and Revenue to find the best use of available funds to benefit employees.