Sept 17 (Reuters) - The state of Maryland is poised to grow 2.7 percent in fiscal 2014, with total general fund revenue forecast to be $15.32 billion, state officials said on Monday.
Peter Franchot, Maryland’s comptroller and chairman of the Board of Revenue Estimates, said in a statement that the state’s economy “remains fundamentally fragile” and that the U.S. recovery “is anemic at best.”
He also reported that Maryland’s estimated revenue collections in fiscal 2013 are expected to increase by $180 million over earlier forecasts to $14.91 billion.
That would be 4.6 percent growth over the current year, but the change is due mainly to increased collections following the state’s most recent income tax hikes, Franchot said.
Adjusted for the tax increases, revenue collections through 2014 are forecast to grow only 3.1 percent, he said.
Franchot also warned that impending sequestration of federal funds could slam the state’s economy. Maryland ranks third out of 50 states and Washington, D.C., in the percent of employees who work for the federal government or its contractors, he said.
He urged Maryland lawmakers and Governor Martin O‘Malley, a Democrat, to restrain new spending, saying that “it would be exceedingly premature, if not reckless ... to make revenue and spending decisions with the assumption that we’re on the road to full economic recovery.”
Franchot, also a Democrat, is reportedly expected to run for governor in 2014.