The graph below shows the City of Baltimore’s General Fund Projected Fiscal Gap at different stages of the Ten-Year Plan period. The area in red shows the cumulative General Fund fiscal gap. Click on the tabs below to see the reduction in the fiscal gap due to initiatives built into the Ten-Year Plan.
Introduced in February 2013, the original Ten-Year Plan report projected a cumulative General Fund fiscal gap of $745 million over the ten-year period. Without corrective action this shortfall will erode all of the City’s reserves in about three years while driving the City deep into deficits.
As part of the Ten-Year Plan, the fiscal forecast will be updated annually to show a more fine-tuned projection of the City’s fiscal future. The FY2014 updated projection incorporates a $15 million increase in revenues and a $137 million increase in baseline expenditures over the period. This graph also represents the implementation of Ten-Year Plan initiatives in FY2013 and FY2014, which are projected to save $395 million over the Ten-Year Plan period. The resulting current General Fund projected fiscal gap is approximately $473 million through FY2022.
This graph represents the change in the projected fiscal gap over the Ten-Year Plan period due to the inclusion of planned initiatives for FY2015. The graph shows that the initiatives planned for FY2015 will further reduce the fiscal gap by $28 million over the Ten-Year period to $445 million. While this appears to be a relatively small reduction in the budget, the overall savings is offset by increased investments in FY2015. Planned investments include contributing to the Budget Stabilization Reserve - the City’s "rainy day fund" - the City’s safety net to offset one-time unanticipated expenses; restructuring the MAPS pay scale to include broader salary ranges; and increasing PAYGO capital funding to spur greater infrastructure investment.
If the City implements the remainder of the Ten-Year Plan initiatives as planned from FY2016 through FY2022, the current General Fund projected fiscal gap is estimated to be lowered by an additional $175 million through FY2022. This means that even with full implementation of all of the Ten-Year Plan initiatives, the City will still be facing a cumulative fiscal gap of approximately $270 million through FY2022.
This remaining gap of $270 million includes a $137 million increase in baseline expenditures. Some key changes to the baseline expenditure forecast include police legal fee increases, landfill reserve contributions, the circulator extension, and additional human resources positions. Despite the increase in the baseline, there are still opportunities for the City to implement creative initiatives that the City did not rely on for savings in the Ten-Year Plan to cover this gap.