Maryland ends fiscal year with $504 million surplus

The state of Maryland ended the last fiscal year with a surplus of more than $500 million, Comptroller Peter Franchot announced.

Strong returns from the state’s capital gains tax returns helped revenues come in about $339 million — or about 2 percent — higher than expected, while state agencies spent less than their individual budgets to achieve the $504 million surplus, according to the comptroller’s office.

Franchot encouraged state lawmakers to save the surplus, not look for ways to spend it.

“The good news is we’ve managed to outperform our modest estimates, but that doesn’t mean the state’s economy is out of the woods yet,” Franchot said in a statement. “Consumers are still cautious about spending their discretionary dollars, and continued political volatility in Washington is likely to persist. I urge our state’s leaders to regard this year-end boost like an unexpected bonus to be saved for future use, not to be spent immediately.”

Gov. Larry Hogan said the $144 million saved at the state agency level was “more than estimated” and reflects “careful management of state agency budgets.”

“We are proud to be responsibly managing our state agencies, resulting in nearly $150 million in savings that will benefit all Marylanders,” Hogan said in a statement.

The governor noted revenues from taxes on personal income, corporate income and sales — as well as the lottery — all came in higher than projected.

“These strong revenue and budget results are great news for our taxpayers and provide further proof that we are continuing to make living in our state more affordable and changing Maryland’s economy for the better,” Hogan said.

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