Harford County Executive David Craig, who announced his candidacy for Maryland Governor early this month, blasted state spending on the heels of a National Governor’s Association Report that shows the general fund rising over twice the national average. Nationally, state general fund spending increased 4.1% on average between fiscal years 2013 and 2014, while Maryland’s surged 8.9%, the fifth-highest increase in the country.
“Politicians have created the conditions where state government now works for itself and grows accordingly, ” said Craig. “This government taxes too much, takes too much, regulates too much and is expanding at the expense of job creators and taxpayers.”
Maryland’s general fund increase is also the highest in the region. Virginia and Delaware spending increases are in line with the national average, while Pennsylvania’s increase of 2.4% comes in at about half the national average and West Virginia’s spending will actually decline by 3.2%.
“Maryland has no future as the tax-and-spend capitol of the mid-Atlantic,” said Craig. “Businesses and jobs will not come, our people will not stay.”
Maryland is going in the opposite direction of other states. The National Governor’s Association notes that overall state spending in fiscal 2013 is still below the fiscal 2008 pre-recession peak. Yet in Maryland, the Governors’ submitted budgets have risen from $29.6 billion in 2007 to $37.3 billion today.
The NGA report examines the general fund, the part of the budget allocated to Maryland’s departments and agencies. Under Maryland’s constitution, the Governor sets fiscal policy and is given wide latitude over the general fund, which comprises the largest portion of state spending followed by federal, special and higher education funds.
Produced in association with state budget officers, the NGA report surveys state spending twice a year and projects fiscal year 2014 spending compared to fiscal year 2013 levels.