Measuring Maryland's Progress



Revenue and spending dashboards provide basic data about these revenue and spending trends.  The data shows trends related to general fund revenues (such as the income tax), which support general government spending.  The section includes data that examine dedicated revenues (such as the gas tax), which support specific government programs.  In addition, this chapter provides data regarding State operating budget (annual expenditures for State government operations, entitlement programs, and grants) and capital budget (expenditures for infrastructure) spending.  The dashboards also examine State personnel and pension impacts.  The section does not examine specific programmatic areas, such as education, environment, health, and public safety.  Those topics are discussed in separate chapters. 






Spending Trends and Outlook


The Great Recession led to a drop in general fund revenues.  Consequently, ongoing spending exceeded ongoing revenues, resulting in a structural deficit.  Additional federal funds in fiscal 2010 and 2011 helped maintain spending.  Actions taken by the Governor and General Assembly have reduced the structural deficit.  Small surpluses are projected in fiscal 2016 and 2017.  From fiscal 2018 to 2022, ongoing revenues are expected to increase by 3.5% annually.  Expenditures for debt service, entitlements, and local aid outpace revenue growth and the deficits are expected to increase to $1.5 billion by fiscal 2022.” 







May 2017

Spending by Purpose – Total Spending


Total State spending is dominated by health, human services, and education spending.  Taken together, these categories account for over two-thirds of State spending.  State spending also supports public safety, transportation, housing, economic development, and environmental programs. 









May 2017


Spending by Purpose – General Funds


The general fund supports State agencies, local grants, and entitlements.  Over three-quarters of general fund spending supports health, human services, and education.  Other general funds programs include public safety, transportation, housing, economic development, and environmental programs.  General fund appropriations are also made for debt service and the State's Rainy Day Fund








May 2017


General Fund Revenues


General fund revenues are the primary source of government funding.  In fiscal 2016, Maryland raised $16.2 billion from fourteen categories of taxes and fees along with lottery revenues and interest earnings.  The State personal income and sales taxes are the two largest components of general fund revenues accounting for 80% of the total in fiscal 2016.


May 2017


State Positions and Personnel


As of October 1, 2016, the Executive Branch (excluding higher education) had approximately 49,992 positions.  Agencies had over 5,000 vacant positions.  Vacancies increased over calendar 2016.  Much of the increase has been in public safety and transportation.  The increases are, at least in part, attributable to cost containment measures taken to limit spending. 








November 2016

State Pensions


The State of Maryland administers defined contribution pension plans for State employees.  These plans are funded by the State agency and State employee contributions.  These contributions are deposited in a trust fund, which invests the proceeds. 


From fiscal 2007 to 2009, the market value of the assets plunged by more than one-quarter of its value.  This has led to pension reforms.  Reforms and a recovering market have stabilized the fund and the unfunded liability is being reduced.  Recent reductions in personnel, along with increased retirements, has led to a higher number of retirees per employee. 








November 2016


Employee and Retiree Health Insurance  


The State provides a subsidized health insurance plan for State employees and vested retirees.  The State efforts to constrain costs have been effective in recent years due to constrained hospital costs and increased use of generic drugs, but unexpected growth in prescription drug costs has been driving costs back up.  The Administration implemented a new wellness plan in calendar 2015 in an attempt to constrain costs associated with chronic conditions.






November 2016


Transportation Revenues  


The State's Transportation Trust Fund supports transportation spending.  Major revenues include motor fuel taxes, vehicle titling taxes, and vehicle registration fees.


Motor fuel tax receipts were 10.2% higher in fiscal 2016 than in fiscal 2015 reflecting the continued phase-in of the tax increases enacted in 2013.  Titling tax receipts grew 8.2% in fiscal 2016 and registration fee revenue increased by1.3%.





December 2016



The State tracks vehicle miles traveled and transit ridership.  Low gas prices contributed to an increase in vehicle miles and a decrease in transit ridership.  In fiscal 2016 the number of vehicle miles traveled increased by 3.9% over the prior year while transit ridership declined by 4.6%. 








December 2016

Total Federal Funds to the State of Maryland


From fiscal 2007 to 2018, total federal expenditures through the State budget increased by $6.4 billion, or at a 7.1% annual rate.  In fiscal 2009 and 2010, federal funding to states nationwide surged as a result of temporary funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to address an economic recession.  Federal funding was then constricted starting in fiscal 2013 due to budget caps and sequestration imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011, mitigated by the proceeding Bipartisan Budget Acts.


May 2017

Federal Funds to the State of Maryland by Purpose


In fiscal 2016, federal funds made up approximately 27.4% of the State’s operating budget; entitlement programs, such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), accounted for 65.9% of total federal funds.  The Budget Control Act of 2011 imposed budget caps on discretionary funds starting in fiscal 2013; mandatory funds (such as Medicaid and SNAP) are exempt.  As a result, mandatory funds continued to grow during sequestration while discretionary funds showed decreases.


May 2017

State Capital Spending


State capital spending is supported from several different sources and used for a variety of purposes.  Transportation funding is supported by the Transportation Trust Fund and annually comprises the largest share of capital spending.  Annual GO bond authorizations in the capital budget bill and the appropriation of general, special, and federal funds (PAYGO) in the operating budget provide most of the remaining sources of funds in support of the capital program.







December 2016

Capital Spending by Category 


The State capital program is used to fund a variety of infrastructure needs.  Annually the largest categories of spending include public school construction, higher education, and environmental programs.







December 2016

State Debt  


The State issues debt to support the capital program.  The two largest components or State debt are General Obligation (GO) and transportation bonds, which are over 90% of debt outstanding.  Although the State has slowed its increases in GO bond authorizations, debt service costs continue to increase as the State issues and retires previously authorized debt.









April 2017

Capital Spending – GO Bonds and School Construction    


State capital spending supports grants and loans in partnership with local governments and non-State entities for, among other things, public school construction, drinking water and wastewater facilities, private hospitals, and public housing.  In recent years, grant and local capital spending has comprised approximately 65% of total State general obligation (GO) bond spending.  Capital spending also supports State-owned infrastructure needs, including prisons, higher education facilities, and other State operated facilities.  State-owned capital spending has comprised approximately 35% of total GO bond spending.  In fiscal 2017, with less GO supporting the capital program, grant and loan spending comprised 55%, while funding for State-owned facilities increased to 45% of total GO spending.  State support for public school construction, the largest component of grant and loan capital spending, annually comprises approximately 30% of total GO spending.  Public school construction spending is also supported with nonbudgeted funds from the Public School Construction Statewide Contingency Account, which represents prior authorized State funding that remained from completed projects and is retained by the respective county to be used to support other projects within a respective county.  From fiscal 2006 through 2017, the State has invested $3.9 billion for school construction projects across the State.


December 2016


Overall wagering on thoroughbred and standardbred live racing increased in 2015 by 6.3% and 9.0%, respectively.  Simulcast wagering increased 4.5% in 2015.


Net lottery sales were $1.8 billion in fiscal 2015, an increase of 4.4% or $75 million as compared to fiscal 2014.  With the opening of a casino in Baltimore City, Maryland video lottery terminal revenues increased 17.7% and table game revenues increased 39.8% in fiscal 2015.  The implementation of additional gaming in Maryland has contributed to a recent decline in gaming revenue at facilities in Delaware and West Virginia while Pennsylvania gaming revenues have increased modestly.



May 2016



This page revised May 25, 2017