Maryland comptroller slams state’s economy

WASHINGTON — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is taking issue with the state’s economy and its politics, according to the Washington Business Journal.

On Wednesday, the Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates wrote down the state’s protected tax collections by more than $405 million for the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years.

Roughly $177 million was written down for the 2015 fiscal year, Biz Journal reports, and the remaining $228 million applied to next year’s projected revenue.

“Uncertainty serves as a serious deterrent to economic growth,” Franchot said in a statement, according to the Biz Journal. “Whether it’s sequestration, unpredictability in the tax and regulatory environment or an inability to make long-term federal budgeting decisions, most of the uncertainty is based on political problems and decisions, as opposed to global economic conditions.”

The write-downs drop whole-year state revenue estimates to $15.8 billion for 2015 and $16.4 billion for 2016, according to the report.

“Essentially, workers perceive that their take-home pay is headed in the wrong direction and the purchasing power for Maryland families is, in reality, diminishing,” Franchot said in the statement. “The housing market has failed to rebound in a sustained and meaningful way, particularly with Maryland second- worst in the nation in home foreclosure rates.”

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