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Shut down a $15M daily hit on Md. economy, state estimate finds

ElectionsU.S. CongressMartin O'Malley

Maryland's economy would take a $15 million hit each day of a federal government shut down -- and the state would lose $5 million a day in revenue -- according to a memo drafted by Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration.

Because of the high concentration of federal workers in Maryland, state budget officials project a two-week furlough period would amount to $51 million in lost income and sales tax revenue. Those estimates generally assume federal workers would not be paid retroactively as they have been after past shutdowns.

"The state income tax impact would be mitigated if federal workers receive retroactive pay after the shutdown ends; however, it is unlikely that most of the sales tax receipts would be recaptured," the memo states.

Lawmakers in Congress must pass a stop-gap spending bill by Monday night to avoid shutting down the federal government when it begins the new fiscal year on Tuesday -- but the effort to do so has been complicated by a debate over the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

House Republican leaders have floated the idea of a temporary spending bill that would avoid the immediate deadline and instead kick the health care debate into mid-October, when Congress must negotiate to raise the nation's $16.7 trillion debt ceiling.

Meanwhile, the Senate is expected to vote this weekend on a bill that would keep the government running without stripping money for Obamacare.

Maryland is home to 300,000 federal workers.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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