County Supports Phased In Teacher Pension Shift …

Local Voices

Bryan P. Sears

Insider Politics

Posted on February 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Fred Homan, Baltimore County Administrative officer, tells county legislators that Baltimore County would accept some phase in of teacher pensions from the state.

General Assembly passes the tax increases that the governor uses to offset the costs to local governments in the first year. Many leaders of other counties do not believe those increases will be approved as proposed, if at all.

Without those offsets from the state, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz estimated the cost to the county could be as high as $40 million. Sen. Jim Brochin, a Towson Democrat, said Friday he’s heard the county could have to initially absorb as much as $60 million in teacher pension costs leading up to taking over the whole pension plan valued at about $90 million annually.

So far, Baltimore County is the only county to publicly support O’Malley’s proposal to shift 50 percent of the cost of teacher pensions to local governments.

“The impact of the teacher pension shift would be crippling to the counties we represent,” wrote Ingrid Turner, a Prince George’s County Councilwoman and president of the Maryland Association of Counties. “This shift could impact our abilities to provide funding for our libraries, community colleges, and non-profits.  For a county like mine, it could even impact our ability to fund the public safety recruits we so desperately need.”

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