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(Washington Business Journal) — Maryland closed fiscal year 2010 with a $344 million surplus after the recession’s impact on tax revenue, while still harsh, was milder than expected.

The state collected $12.6 billion in taxes during the year that ended June 30. That was $183.7 million more than was forecast, but still the third-worst year-over-year decline in four decades, according to Comptroller Peter Franchot. It was 3.7 percent lower revenue than in fiscal 2009.

Franchot said Marylanders could take optimism from the surplus, but still must be cautious when budgeting going forward.

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