Not one but two good news pieces for Maryland this week.
Yesterday, Governor O’Malley announced a DECREASE in Maryland Unemployment Insurance Tax Rates. The rates could drop by as much as 55% as the state moves from table F to Table C.
At $794,535,858.84, Maryland has the fifth highest trust fund balance in the country. The balance in the trust fund is healthy enough to trigger a key rate change for 2013. In 2012, Table F was in effect with a range of tax rates of 2.2 percent to 13.5 percent of the first $8,500 in annual wages. For calendar year 2013, Table C will be in effect. The range of rates is 1.0 percent to 10.5 percent of the first $8,500 in wages. All businesses will benefit from the State unemployment insurance tax table moving downward from Table F to Table C.
I was quoted in the press release, “The reduced costs are welcome news for Maryland businesses; the ability to lower the unemployment tax rates is a sign that the state’s economy is improving. We must stay vigilant and continue working together to improve employment and return the Trust Fund to its $1 billion fully healthy position.”
The second piece of good news was the announcement that our Comptroller, Peter Franchot was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for Maryland’s 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).
Comptroller Franchot said, “I believe we must make the actions of government transparent to the people, or we can’t claim we’re operating with the consent of the governed. A strict adherence to transparency is something I believe in strongly. In that spirit of openness, I’m proud that my agency’s efforts to educate and inform the public on the state’s finances are being recognized. However, we can do more, which is why I’m asking Governor O’Malley, Maryland’s legislative leadership, private sector stakeholders, and other parties to meet in the near future to discuss reasonable and realistic proposals for rolling out statewide transparency, including campaign financing.”
Transparency, Accountability, and Financial Excellence are all values we as CPAs vigorously support and our congratulations go out to Comptroller Franchot and team at the Comptroller’s offices!
The subject of federal and state government sustainability, debt and taxes has been a constant theme at our townhall / Professional Issues Updates over the last year. It was the subject of this post, What scares you (CPAs) most?. Here are a few resources as we work to do our part in helping solve these “wicked problems”:
Information on Maryland’s fiscal affairs and previous CAFRs click here
What’s at Stake? – AICPA Chair, Greg Anton looks at the federal financials from a CPA perspective
Does the federal government really run on Quickbooks? Take a look at this video on the Data Act