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A Cold Dose of Reality for Maryland

In an interview with Maryland’s Comptroller Peter Franchot on Thursday, March 12 – one day after the state of Maryland received the cold sobering news that the states projected revenues for the balance of the year are way down with no end in sight, Franchot told TheBAYNET.com that Maryland is in for a rough ride ahead.

 “We went through the projected revenues yesterday and the news was staggering. There has been a complete and sudden collapse in tax revenues. The numbers for December 2008 and January are way down,” said a concerned Franchot.
 
The comptroller indicated that his office, based on the projected shortfall in employment tax revenues has had to rework the state budget once again, slashing an additional $1.2 billion on top of the $.5 billion already removed from state spending.
 
“We are going to have to take a serious look at the way we spend money in this state,” said Franchot. He indicated that the matter is now with the legislature, but that there would be a serious need for reduced, responsible spending and a serious need for the state to save money wherever it is possible to do so.
 
For that reason, Franchot is opening up his Web site – www.marylandtaxes.com and his personal email – pfranchot@comp.state.md.us to the citizens of Maryland. “I want them to tell me where they think we can save money or reduce spending,” said Franchot. “If they see a building going up that could use private help as opposed state workers, I want to know about it. If they see a road project that could private industry as partners, we want to know about their thoughts.”
 
With unemployment jumping to an increase of almost 80 percent of recent state norms, Franchot feels that the worldwide nature of the current economic crisis bound to have a lasting effect on the state.
 
“Maryland has traditionally been immune to previous national recessions because of our proximity to the federal government and the fact that we have a highly educated workforce. But, this recession is hitting every one and Maryland is no longer going to be able to ignore the cold hard truth,” said Franchot.
 
The Comptroller did state that the stimulus moneys which would be doled out over the next nine fiscal quarters will help, but that it is one time money and the economy is a long term problem that must be addressed by the legislature.
 
“We have to get our fiscal house in order before we spend any more money,” said Franchot as he headed to his next event in a busy day in Southern Maryland. Next stop – the annual

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