– The following article was submitted by Delegate Bob Long of District 6-
When I attended a briefing from the Bureau of Revenue Estimates last week, I heard bad news but not shocking news.
We were informed that there is a shortfall in the budget less than two months after the new Governor was inaugurated. The Bureau of Revenue Estimates reported a $478 million dollar revenue decrease for the current and next fiscal year.
Whoever thought that we could keep spending and spending and still have funds didn’t think this through. The Democrats in Annapolis love to spend your hard-earned money.
This is unacceptable that we have a budget shortfall. Governor Hogan left the state in great fiscal shape with a $5 billion budget surplus and the Democrats reckless spending is already causing damage in the first year.
We haven’t completed the full 2023 session and there is a decline in the surplus. Wait until 2024 and beyond when the Democrats don’t start with a surplus.
I am really concerned about tax increases. I don’t think we will see any tax increases this session, but the loss of revenue could result in future tax increase proposals in the 2024 session.
I voted against all tax increases during my eight years as delegate and I will continue to oppose any tax increases.
We all know what we need to do to deal with this budget shortfall and it is NOT RAISE TAXES.
We need to tighten our belts and stop spending money we do not have. One sure way to fill in the gaps is to stop the red line proposal.
That would give us $500 million back into the budget.
We need to get this budget under control.