Non-profit

Maryland Center on Economic Policy

Website:

www.mdeconomy.org/

Location:

BALTIMORE, MD

Tax ID:

90-0999151

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $400,634
Expenses: $326,070
Assets: $383,571

Maryland Center on Economic Policy is a left-of-center organization in Maryland focused on primarily fiscal matters. Though the organization claims to be non-partisan, it has generally supported liberal positions. The organization has been vocal in support of tax increases to support the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission, a commission of 26 members who were to develop a new public-school funding formula.

Benjamin Orr, a veteran of other left-of-center think tanks, is the executive director of the Maryland Center on Economic Policy. [1]

Taxes and Spending

The center generally supports initiatives that increase government spending and taxes.

In February 2020, the center released a fact sheet alleging that Maryland missed 2.8 billion dollars in taxable revenue. This fact sheet suggested that legislators attempt to “close the gap” by taking certain measures to increase tax revenue, such as levying a four percent tax on large businesses, increasing capital gains taxes higher than the federal level, and making the estate tax apply to a broader swath of Marylanders. [2]

In a February 2019 blog, the Center’s Christopher Meyer wrote a blog arguing against a proposal by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) that would have given additional tax breaks to companies participating in the federal Opportunity Zones program. [3]

Education

The center has aligned with teachers’ unions in supporting the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission along with broad tax hikes to support increased public K-12 and higher education funding. [4]

In a March 2018 blog post, the Center’s Christopher Meyer applauded the preliminary report of the Kirwan Commission as “ambitious” with special nods towards recommendations of the Commission to increase funding towards before/after school programming, summer learning, and mental health initiatives alongside raising teacher pay despite Maryland teachers being among the highest paid in the country. [5] [6]

Maryland Fair Funding Coalition

Maryland Center on Economic Policy is a key leader in the Maryland Fair Funding Coalition which claims to “ensure that the state has the resources it needs to make significant new investments in education funding.” [7]

The coalition has provided the most resources in gearing grassroots supports for the goals of the Kirwan Commission which has supported dramatic tax hikes and increased spending towards low-performing public schools. The commission, established in 2016, was compromised of teachers, legislators, businesspeople, and county leaders to create a new funding scheme for public schools across the state to replace one that had been in use for roughly 20 years. The commission recommended a scheme that increased government spending by $3.8 billion and would be funded primarily by tax increases. [8] [9]

Along with numerous labor unions representing teachers and other public-sector employees, the coalition includes a number of left-wing organizations such as Progressive Maryland, pro-illegal immigration group Casa De Maryland, left-of-center activist group Common Cause, left-wing Jewish activist organization Jews United for Justice, and racial reconciliation group Communities United. [10]

Funding

Maryland Center on Economic Policy has received $150,000 in grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and over $50,000 in grants from Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, Eugene and Agnes E Meyer Foundation, and the Consumer Health Foundation. The center has also received over $40,000 in grants from the Greater Washington Community Foundation. [11]

Leadership

Benjamin Orr is the executive director of Maryland Center on Economic Policy. Prior to his role with the Center, Orr worked for the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute as a policy analyst and eventually the interim director. He has also previously worked for the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program on policy issues affecting the DC Metropolitan area, CUNY Institute for Demographic Research, New York Census Research Data Center, and  John Jay College. He holds a graduate degree from Baruch College in New York. [12]

References

  1. “Staff and Fellows”. Maryland Center on Economic Policy. Accessed March 16, 2020. http://www.mdeconomy.org/about-us/staff/ ^
  2. ”Maryland’s 2.8 Billion Dollar Missed Opportunity.” Maryland Center for Economic Policy. February 2020.  Accessed March 16, 2020. http://www.mdeconomy.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Missed-Opportunity.pdf ^
  3. Meyer, Christopher. ”Maryland Shouldn’t Double Down on Ineffective Federal Tax Breaks for ”Opportunity Zones”.” Maryland Center for Economic Policy. February 27, 2019. Accessed March 16, 2020. http://www.mdeconomy.org/maryland-shouldnt-double-down-on-ineffective-federal-tax-breaks-for-opportunity-zones/ ^
  4. ”About Us”. Maryland Fair Funding Coalition. Accessed March 16, 2020. https://fairfundingmd.org/about/ ^
  5. ”Rankings of the States 2018 and Estimates of School Statistics 2019”. National Education Association Research. April 2019. Accessed March 16, 2020. http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/2019%20Rankings%20and%20Estimates%20Report.pdf?_ga=2.11734644.150710434.1555261732-1201080585.1552276206 ^
  6. Meyer, Christopher. “Commission’s Education Recommendations Hold Promise, but the Real Test Lies Ahead.” Maryland Center for Economic Policy. March 7, 2018. Accessed March 16, 2018. http://www.mdeconomy.org/commissions-education-recommendations-hold-promise-but-the-real-test-lies-ahead/ ^
  7. ”About”. Maryland Fair Funding Coalition. Accessed March 16, 2020. https://fairfundingmd.org/about/ ^
  8. Bowie, Liz. ”What is the Kirwan Commission? What you need to know about the group addressing Maryland public education problem.” Baltimore Sun. September 30, 2019. Accessed March 16, 2020. https://www.baltimoresun.com/education/bs-md-what-is-kirwan-commission-20190930-d76c5hkgkrfutomwzdax7ls6b4-story.html ^
  9. Tooten, Tim. ”In 19-3 vote, Kirwan Commission passes its recommendations to Md. Lawmakers.” WBALTV. November 21, 2019. Accessed March 16, 2020. https://www.wbaltv.com/article/kirwan-commission-passes-its-recommendations-to-md-lawmakers/29873647# ^
  10. ”About”. Maryland Fair Funding Coalition. Accessed March 16, 2020. https://fairfundingmd.org/about/ ^
  11. Data compiled by FoundationSearch.com subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted March 19, 2020. ^
  12. ”Staff and Fellows”. Maryland Center on Economic Policy. Accessed March 16, 2020. http://www.mdeconomy.org/about-us/staff/ ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 2014

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $400,634 $326,070 $383,571 $21,787 N $389,194 $11,331 $109 $91,741
    2015 Dec Form 990 $361,098 $271,398 $309,467 $22,247 N $361,098 $0 $0 $84,000 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $241,016 $43,496 $212,957 $15,437 N $241,016 $0 $0 $16,155 PDF

    Maryland Center on Economic Policy

    1800 N CHARLES ST STE 406
    BALTIMORE, MD 21201-5909