At the Bel Air Independence Day Parade Governor O’Malley told Patch.com, after roughing up a few straw men opponents of the MD DREAM Act, “I’ve had to cut the state budget by more than any governor in Maryland history…”
O’Malley cut the state budget? Really !
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Here’s how much O’Malley spent in his five budgets since he took office in 2007.
2008: 29.4 billion
2009: 30.7 billion
2010: 32.2 billion
2011. 32.0 billion
2012: 34.2 billion
That’s a 16.3 percent increase between fiscal years 2008 and 2012. Furthermore, O’Malley increased general fund spending from $13.2 billion in 2011 to to $14.6 billion in 2012 an increase of 11 percent—one of the largest in the nation.
The only thing historic about O’Malley’s tenure is the $1.4 billion in tax increases, which failed to solve the structural deficit as he promised they would.
What will Maryland taxpayers receive in return for this allegedly historic budget cutting? A 56 percent property tax increase:
The approach Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) took to blunt years of recessionary budget problems is partly responsible, according to a report released Friday afternoon by the state’s nonpartisan budget analysts.
In the last three years, O’Malley has accelerated a decade-long practice in Annapolis of shifting expenses once paid entirely with cash to the state’s capital budget, which is funded with bond money repaid with interest over 15 years.
The approach allowed Maryland to increase spending on school construction, as well as to continue robust funding for Chesapeake Bay restoration, open-space and other environmental programs during the worst years of the downturn. But it will come at a cost, the report said.
Over the next five years, principal and interest payments on state debt will rise from $835 million annually to over $1.1 billion in 2016.
During the same time, state property taxes and other revenues set aside for debt are expected to shrink, from $954 million to $715 million annually, according to the report.
Save tax increases, the budget lawmakers are now preparing will be last in years in which existing property tax rates and other special revenues would cover Maryland’s annual debt costs, the report said.
Beginning in 2013, $132 million from the state’s general fund will be needed to cover the debt payments. The yearly cost would rise to $398 million by 2016.
Those costs would eat away at Maryland’s $13-billion general fund, which pays for education, Medicaid, public safety and other costs, and is already projected to suffer from major shortfalls for most of the rest of the decade.