Comptroller Peter Franchot and Andrew Schaufele, Director of the Bureau of Revenue Estimates conducted a virtual press conference during which they provided new State revenue amid social distancing and the Governor’s "stay at home order." The fiscal outlook is decidedly grim, but comes with some context. The Comptroller made sure to clarify that their analysis is strictly an economic one and the health policy aspect is handled separately.
The COVID crisis will have a profound short and long term impact Maryland’s economy. Their latest projections assume the stay at home order remains in effect for the remainder of fiscal year 2020 (June 30). In this scenario, their projection is for a $2.8 Billion loss in revenue; just under $1 Billion each in lost sales and income tax revenue. This accounts for approximately 15% of the State’s annual General Fund.
Franchot and Schaufele fielded a question about the impact on local government revenues. Their answer stated that any State shared revenues to local governments are likely to be negatively impacted, potentially significantly. Mr. Schaufele said he plans to work with local governments on the intricacies of the impact.
The Comptroller’s office said this is a "plan for the worst, hope for the best" projection. As new data is collected, new projections can be calculated. Should the stay at home order end prior to June 30, or extend beyond that date, new estimates be done to provide up to date information.