Updates on Legislation with State and Local Budget Implications

The following legislation has budgetary implications for Maryland municipalities and was passed or died in the last week of the Maryland General Assembly’s 2024 session.

Budget/BRFASB 360/HB 350 & SB 362/HB 352 (Passed) – As passed by the Senate in early March, this year’s budget and accompanying Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA) would have reduced local Highway User Revenues (HUR) in FY 26 & FY 27. MML and MACo pushed back against the need to codify those out-year reductions in this year’s budget. The House of Delegates also pushed back and identified some new revenue sources to fund transportation and education moving forward. The compromise deal resulted in an additional $350 million for the State which allows for HURs to be fully funded.  

Tourism ZonesSB 14/HB 1281 (Passed) – MML’s priority bill to establish Tourism Zones passed both chambers and will soon be signed into law. See our press release for more information.

Admission and Amusement Food & Beverage Tax HB 1306 (Withdrawn) – MML’s priority bill to create a local food & beverage tax (similar to VA and D.C.) was withdrawn by the bill sponsor, Delegate Kris Fair. The House Ways & Mean’s Committee, on which the bill sponsor sits, is taking a longer look at local revenue structures ahead of the next session. The Committee referred Delegate Fair’s other bill on local revenues – HB 919, a MACo priority – to interim study.

Tax Sale Revisions – HB 243 (Died) – As introduced, this DHCD departmental bill would have made it significantly challenging to collect outstanding taxes or water bills via the tax sale process. MML opposed the bill for that reason but focused on several of the more heavy-handed provisions in our testimony and discussions. The bill was heavily amended by the House of Delegates, but still would have prevented an owner-occupied property from going to tax sale for water/sewer bills only, regardless of the size of the lien(s). We continued to try to find a middle ground with Senate leaders and DHCD. As time was running out on the final day, we decided to work these differences out with DHCD over the interim, but the bill ultimately failed to pass its final hurdles.

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