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Tax Revenues Show Maryland’s Slow Economic Recovery

By Aaron Kraut

Thursday - 8/29/2013, 10:25am  ET

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (file photo)Maryland’s economic recovery still has a ways to go, according to tax revenue numbers released by Comptroller Peter Franchot on Thursday.

The final closeout numbers for fiscal year 2013 show almost $14.9 billion in general fund revenues, $62.4 million or 0.4 percent less than projections but about $618 million more than fiscal year 2012.

Withholding receipts fell $171.3 million short of the state’s estimates, increasing 2.5 percent compared to FY 2012. The state had projected 4 percent growth. Franchot said it was a sign of remaining weakness in wages and salaries. Sales and use tax receipts grew by 0.7 percent compared to FY 2012, less than the rate of inflation over the same period.

“These revenue figures highlight an economy that remains exceedingly fragile and uncertain, and they remind us that we must proceed on a prudent financial course in the months ahead. With wages failing to keep pace with the cost of living for too many Maryland families, I would strongly urge my colleagues to resist creating any additional unpredictability for Maryland consumers and small businesses,” Franchot said in a statement.

Franchot urged the governor and General Assembly to save any extra tax revenues.

He cited the state’s 7.1 percent unemployment rate, sequestration, the 2012 state income tax increase and the expiration of the federal payroll tax holiday as reasons for the state’s “lethargic revenue performance,” since July 2012.

“Given the challenges that lie ahead, it is more imperative than ever that we spend taxpayer dollars in the most effective and efficient ways possible, and reassure Maryland’s taxpayers that we are getting the best possible results in return,” Franchot said.

PDF: Closeout Report