ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WBFF) — Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot is predicting the economic fallout from the coronavirus will continue for at least the next few months. It comes more than one month after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued a “stay at home” order for most residents, with the exception of essential employees. Last month, Franchot predicted the state would collect $2.8 billion less in sales and income tax revenue that originally predicted.
Even before state lawmakers adjourned the 2020 session two weeks early, there were troubling economic signs. Amid fears of the coronavirus, restrictions on businesses were already being imposed. But Franchot says nothing compares to the economic free fall Maryland has suffered in the past two months.
“I don’t want to sugarcoat it, it’s going to be bad and it’s going to be long term and it’s going to be more comparable to the 1930’s Depression than it is to the 2008-2009 Great Recession,” said Franchot.
In the past six weeks, more than 400 thousand Marylanders have filed for unemployment insurance. Franchot predicts the Board of Public Works will be forced to make additional cuts to next year’s budget. He says the economic recovery will depend on a medical solution with discovery of a COVID vaccine. Until then, one state senator says all eyes will be on Washington for continued assistance.
Sen. Cory McCray, a Democrat who represents Baltimore City, says
“I think we’re in our fourth stimulus, our fourth stimulus to make sure that they take care of State’s, to make sure they take care of local government, but we won’t fully know that until we get through the COVID-19 process.”
The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates is expected to release revised numbers projecting economic growth for the rest of this year.