County-by-County Analysis of Tax Base
Annapolis - Change Maryland released today an analysis of how the state's 24
jurisdictions are performing in a key metric of their ability to
provide essential government services, improve quality of life and
maintain fiscal responsibility - the rise or fall of the tax base.
The Internal Revenue Service maintains tax file data between tax years
on both the state and county levels. With this data, it is possible
to determine which counties are increasing, decreasing or are
remaining stagnant when it comes to their tax base.
"A growing tax base is the ultimate win/win situation in public policy," said
Change Maryland Chairman Larry Hogan. "It eases the pressure to raise revenues,
and conversely, a shrinking tax base often leads to a troublesome
tax-and-spend downward spiral as actual revenues fail to meet estimates."
Some of Maryland's most successful counties in terms of increasing its
tax base are those with smaller populations. Eastern shore
counties Worcester, Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot are increasing their
tax base in percentage terms relatively higher than other jurisdictions
throughout the state. Garrett and St. Mary's are also performing
well. On the other hand, the state's largest jurisdictions -
Baltimore City and County, Prince George's and Montgomery range from
sharply negative growth to stagnant.
"I'm very encouraged by how well we're doing in the rural and outlying
counties," said Hogan. "These small economic engines are powering the
state forward by attracting new residents. Clearly where we need to
see improvement is in our largest jurisdictions. Baltimore City is
losing its tax base at unacceptable levels and Montgomery County's
stagnant tax base will further tarnish its business reputation as
elected officials seek more revenue to make up for budget shortfalls."
Change Maryland noted this Spring that the state overall has lost its
tax base more than any other state in the region - and seventh highest