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The General Assembly is currently debating a proposal from Gov. Martin O’Malley to shift hundreds of millions in pension costs from the state to the county governments.

Counties disagree that this shift will do anything to improve the sustainability of state pension funding. County governments don’t run the pension system, don’t negotiate teacher salaries and did not create these costs — but this burden would be sent to the county governments — who pay these expenses without any say in the system or its costs.

In Charles County alone, the new county cost for the coming year is $6,887,117. The fiscal staff in Annapolis says that would grow immediately to $8,872,382 the next year and all the way to $10,316,520 over the next three years. That kind of burden would put massive pressure onto the county’s taxpayers and to the public services our citizens deserve and depend on.

These are trying times for everyone, and budgets are tight. Yet, we are fortunate to have a great relationship with our county’s board of education and our state delegation. We’ve worked together as a team to ensure that adequate funding is available for our children to have a quality education.

However, we want citizens to be aware that this proposed measure would result in an increase in taxes, which is the reason we urge our senators and delegates to stand in opposition to these massive cost shifts.

Candice Quinn Kelly, La Plata

The writer is the president of the Charles County commissioners and a board member and legislative representative of the Maryland Association of Counties.