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Comptroller Urges Fiscal Restraint Citing Continued Economic Uncertainty

August 30th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

Renewing his call for caution in a tepid economic recovery, Comptroller Peter Franchot released the final closeout numbers for Fiscal Year 2016 today. General Fund revenues totaled $16.2 billion in the fiscal year, 1.5 percent or $250 million below estimate. The unassigned general fund balance is $196.5 million. 

The revenue data reflected sustained weakness in wage growth and taxable spending as well as significantly less revenue from collections with tax returns. The net revenue from tax returns with checks and tax returns with refunds decreased 30 percent from fiscal year 2015.  The estimate had called for a decline of 1 percent.  The downturn likely is due to volatility in non-wage income, particularly capital gains.

             “These numbers reflect a continued slow and anemic economic recovery in our state with Marylanders struggling to keep pace,” Comptroller Franchot said. “While a few more Marylanders have jobs, overall wages continue to fail to keep pace with the cost of living for too many families. The figures underscore a vulnerable and uncertain economy and the need to keep to a sensible fiscal course ahead. Consumers and small businesses need predictability as we move forward. I believe that any fund balance must be saved and not spent.” 

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