Property Tax Incentives for Business–Another Folly

A Worthy Report on Property Tax Incentives for Business The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy has issued an exceptionally valuable report on state and local misuse of property tax incentives for economic development. Its authors are Daphne A. Kenyon, Adam H. Langley, and Bethany P. Paquin. Ms Kenyon is well known as the principal author […]

More Pension Follies

More Pension Follies With great fanfare, Governor O’Malley announced his 2014-15 budget. Three thick budget volumes were released. Nowhere in these volumes (with one minor exception) are any of the pertinent data concerning Maryland’s pension and employee health obligations disclosed. The re-design of Maryland’s budget documents carried out by the present budget secretary, Eloise Foster, […]

Maryland’s Pension System has Performed Poorly for Decades Maryland’s pension system has performed poorly for decades under two separate treasurers By George W. Liebmann 2:09 PM EST, February 19, 2014 Advertisement   The state pension system is Maryland’s financial Achilles heel and has been for decades. All bond rating services have noted that rising pension debt endangers the state’s AAA bond […]

Pension Follies, Resumed

      Maryland has, just, preserved its AAA bond rating, though with a negative outlook from Moody’s. Moody’s has issued a publication reporting that Maryland is one of the ten worst states in terms of the burden of pension debt, Maryland’s pension obligations being almost exactly equal to one year’s gross revenues, 99.5% of […]

Mismanaged Maryland

    Mismanaged Maryland Despite talk of reforms and budget cuts, Annapolis dabbles in excessive borrowing, noncompetitive projects and risky investments   By George Liebmann6:00 a.m. EDT, March 11, 2013   There is a sharp disconnect between the image and reality of the O’Malley administration’s fiscal policies. The image features pension reforms, reduced structural deficits, […]

Maryland’s Mismanaged Pensions

      Questionable investment strategies could put state’s bond rating at risk   Comments 2 Share0   By George Liebmann12:34 p.m. EDT, July 9, 2012   There are serious clouds over the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System and the way the O’Malley administration has managed it. Consider the following: 1. The rate of […]

The O’Malley Fiscal Record

The O’Malley Fiscal Record   After five years, it is time to take stock of Governor O’Malley’s fiscal record. This may be done under several headings:   1. New Spending Initiatives   A. Employment Tax Credit   This $20 million “Job Creation and Recovery Act” credit was initially claimed with respect to only 1000 jobs, […]

Injecting Sense Into School Construction,0,1047591.story   State should not agree to commit vast sums over decades to a questionable building plan By George W. Liebmann 4:18 PM EST, March 1, 2012 Advertisement   On the important issue of school construction, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has displayed refreshing common sense by demonstrating skepticism about a vastly inflated — indeed […]

Confronting Party Myths

Confronting Party Myths by George W. Liebmann Some cheer can be obtained from recent fiscal events. The Reagan-Bush tax cuts ended the Democratic era of tax and spend. The debt limit crisis ended the Republican era of borrow and spend. Perhaps the hour of the late Adlai Stevenson, who told us “there are no gains […]

Baltimore City Pensions: A Worthy Report

The recent report of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Task Force on Fire and Police Pensions under the Chairmanship of Donald Fry is a worthy effort, and repeats many of the observations in Calvert’s The Baltimore City Retirement Systems: Heading for Trouble report in 2006. Task Force recommendations fall into three broad categories- PLAN MANAGEMENT, FUTURE […]