Montgomery County Taxpayers League

The Voice of Taxpayers of Montgomery County, Maryland

Maryland

“Deferred Payments to the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System”

This email was sent Feb. 27, 2014, to Maryland Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller General Peter Franchot supporting them in their opposition to reducing the payments to the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System:

Dear Treasurer Kopp and Comptroller Franchot,

 

We fully support your plea to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee to refrain from cutting $100 million in payments to the state retirement system.  Other than a total loss of credibility by state employees of the governor, there is an even greater loss to the entire state of its credibility with the bond rating agencies.  And who will pay for this reckless deferral of payment to the retirement fund?  The taxpayer.

We are quite sure that you must be aware of many ways to find $100 million in a $39 billion budget.  Here is a suggestion:  how about cutting loose the Wall Street firm  to whom we paid advisory fees of $274 million in the last fiscal year for a very disappointing rate of return.  In fact, the Maryland Public Policy Institute reports that the Maryland state pension fund underperformed its entire peer group of pension funds.   How about indexing the portfolio?  Could we do worse?

Sincerely,

Joan Fidler
President
Montgomery County Taxpayers League

 

 

 

Proposed FY15 Budget Has $166 Million Gap

 

From the County Executive’s proposed FY2015 Budget (p. 16):

However, expenditures are estimated to grow by specific major known commitments of $132 million, illustrating the costs and challenges that exist in the budget, producing a budget gap of $166 million that must be closed by March 15th.

Because of State law requiring a certain level of funding for MCPS and Montgomery College, County Government and Park and Planning could sustain reductions of nearly 3%.”

The required “level of funding” is the Mainenance of Effort law. When the bill was proposed in Annapolis, our County Council and County Executive strongly opposed it, warning of the financial burden it would place on our county. However, all 24 county Delegates and 7 of our 8 Senators (except for Sen. Brian Frosh) voted for the proposal.

Read the full document.

 

“Montgomery council member: State lawmakers answer to Annapolis ‘masters’”

From the The Washington Post of November 13, 2013:

But at a council discussion Tuesday on state legislative strategy, council member Valerie Ervin said it would be a struggle to keep legislators focused on Montgomery’s needs when they are too often beholden to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D).

They’re different animals,” Ervin (D-Silver Spring) said of the delegation. “When they get to Annapolis, the people they listen to are not us. They have other masters. … Let’s not be naive.”

Read the full story at The Post.