Lo­cal school fund­ing man­date op­posed

County of­fi­cials see rise in prop­erty taxes

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation - BY DAVID HILL

Lo­cal lead­ers in Mary­land say a pro­posed state man­date on lo­cal ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing goes too far in dic­tat­ing the fis­cal de­ci­sions made by county gov­ern­ments.

A bud­get pack­age ap­proved last week by the Se­nate Bud­get and Tax­a­tion Com­mit­tee would toughen a state law that al­ready re­quires coun­ties to match or in­crease their ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing from year to year. The law has been crit­i­cized by county of­fi­cials in re­cent years as un­ten­able.

Many state law­mak­ers say the change is needed to pre­serve the qual­ity of public ed­u­ca­tion, but county of­fi­cials say it could force them to raise lo­cal prop­erty taxes and rep­re­sents a fur­ther in­tru­sion on lo­cal au­thor­ity.

“We are quite proud of our sup­port of ed­u­ca­tion,” said Mont­gomery County Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Roger Ber­liner, a Demo­crat. “But at the same time, this bill is a sig­nif­i­cant over-

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