Baltimore to get $9.8 million in extra state aid Funds distributed by formula OK'd by Senate committee

April 04, 1991|By M. Dion Thompson | M. Dion Thompson,Annapolis Bureau of The Sun

ANNAPOLIS -- Baltimore would receive $9.8 million of the $11.4 million in extra state aid set aside in the coming budget for the state's poorer counties, under a formula approved yesterday by a Senate committee.

The final budget, which was approved Monday, allocated the $11.4 million, but did not determine how much money each subdivision would receive.

The formula, part of a bill approved yesterday by the Budget and Taxation Committee, takes into account population and local and statewide per capita income tax revenues. The formula attempts to bring the amount of income tax revenue allocated to the poorer subdivisions up to at least 67 percent of the statewide average per capita.

In addition to Baltimore, five other counties will share in the $11.4 million. Aside from the $9.86 million for Baltimore, the other counties receiving the aid are:

* Allegany County -- $494,000

* Somerset County -- $459,000

* Garrett County -- $324,000

* Caroline County -- $146,000

* Dorchester County -- $115,000

The Senate bill also requires that any future state grants sent to the poorer jurisdictions take the funding formula into account.

"The city's aim is for a permanent pipeline of funds from the state, which this is," said Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman, D-Baltimore. "The advantage of a formula that's based on this is that it's ongoing."

Though the bill does not set aside any specific amount of money for future budget years, it does give legislators an idea of how tax moneys can be distributed, said Ms. Hoffman.

Legislators this summer will be considering the Linowes commission's proposals for restructuring the state's tax arrangements and may bring to the General Assembly next year proposals to revise how the state distributes its funds.

Sen. Laurence Levitan, D-Montgomery, who chairs the Budget and Taxation Committee, said the formula will be among the items legislators take up during the coming months. "We know the city needs this and obviously much more," he said.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer agreed yesterday, saying the $9.8 million in aid to Baltimore will be insufficient for the city to meet its growing needs. The one-time grant "means absolutely nothing as far as the problems the city has and that the mayor has," the governor said.

"Until the legislature recognizes that the city of Baltimore is somewhat like a sore, that unless it's tended soon, [it] will cause a continual drain on the state government," Mr. Schaefer said.

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