SALISBURY, MD – Maryland governor Martin O’Malley’s plan to shift 50% of the cost of teacher pensions to the counties could have a sizable impact on the budgets of Eastern Shore counties. Among those that could be hit the hardest are Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, and Worcester counties.
The Daily Times’ Brian Shane reports that Worcester County could be saddled with a $1 million addition to its FY 2013 budget and no help from the state to offset the costs. While Wicomico’s burden would actually be larger, a state “disparity grant” would drop the actual FY 2013 to less than $800,000. Somerset, Dorchester, and Caroline counties also qualify for “disparity grants”.
Because the final determination of the pension shift bill may not be known until April, it is unknown whether county governments are taking this into account when preparing their budgets for next year. Proposed budgets are typically submitted to county councils or commissioners during the month of April.