Md. shows nearly $1 billion budget surplus
The administration attributes the balance to better-than-anticipated income tax returns, a sign that the economy firmed over the past year. The new data shows the state has $344 million over their estimates.
In a memo sent today to Gov. Martin O'Malley, State Budget and Management Director T. Eloise Foster warned Administration officials that it is "unclear" whether they can count on the trend to continue "due to the current uncertainties in the national economy."
Maryland budget writers had expected to close the FY2011 fiscal year which ended on June 30 with $641 million excess funds, and had planned to use nearly all of it ($590 million) to balance the FY2012 budget.
Much of the newly identified unspent funds must go into the state's Rainy Day Fund, but about $10 million will be available for day-to-day operations, according to the memo.
Last month in a news release, the Virgina State Republican Party pointed to their surplus as proof that GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell manages his state's books more prudently than O'Malley, who is a Democrat.
The comparison used an unorthodox method of pairing Virginia's FY2011 budget surplus to Maryland's FY2013 deficit projections. Maryland's FY2011 books had not yet closed, and Virginia budget officials do not provide out year projections.