Com­mis­sion con­sid­ers $133.6 mil­lion bud­get

Record Observer - - Front Page - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­

CENTREVILLE — Queen Anne’s County Fi­nance Direc­tor Jonathan See­man walked the com­mis­sion­ers through the county ad­min­is­tra­tor’s pro­posed fis­cal 2018 bud­get dur­ing a work ses­sion Tues­day, March 28.

The op­er­at­ing bud­get, in its early stages, is $133.6 mil­lion, an in­crease of al­most $4 mil­lion from fis­cal 2017. The pro­posed cap­i­tal bud­get is $37.3 mil­lion.

See­man said both the prop­erty tax rate of $0.847 per $100 of as­sessed value and the in­come tax rate of 3.2 per­cent are pro­posed to stay the same as last year. Be­cause the north­ern part of the county had its prop­erty re­assessed and had an in­crease of 3.2 per­cent, the county would have to use the con­stant yield rate to keep the tax amount the same as last year.

The con­stant yield rate would lower the prop­erty tax rate to $0.8385 per $100 of as­sessed value. See­man pro­posed that the com­mis­sion not use the con­stant yield rate, but rather keep the cur­rent $0.8471 per $100 of as­sessed value re­sult­ing in ad­di­tional rev­enue of about $670,000.

“This bud­get re­flects the rec­om­men­da­tions of the County’s Spend­ing Af­ford­abil­ity Com­mit­tee, formed for the first time for the FY2018 bud­get. The rec­om­men­da­tions in­clude use of fund bal­ance only for one­time non-re­cur­ring ex­pen­di­tures, ex­pen­di­ture growth in ac­cor­dance with rev­enue growth, and com­pen­sa­tion in­creases sus­tain­able in fu­ture years,” wrote See­man and County Ad­min­is­tra­tor Gregg Todd in a memo to com­mis­sion­ers.

Though not spec­i­fied as to what form an em­ployee com­pen­sa­tion in­crease for county work­ers would be, a 2 per­cent cost of liv­ing in­crease or pay for per­for­mance in­cen­tive was pro­posed, See­man said.

“There are funds in the Con­tin­gency ac­count to ad­dress po­ten­tial salary ad­just­ments or ad­di­tional po­si­tions as­so­ci­ated with de­part­men­tal en­hance­ment re­quests. These 15 new en­hance­ment po­si­tions, in­clud­ing seven new sher­iff po­si­tions (five sworn of­fi­cers and two civil­ians) as­so­ci­ated with the new court­house, are not in­cluded in this bud­get,” See­man wrote.

At 42 per­cent of the county’s to­tal bud­get, the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion is pro­posed to be funded at main­te­nance of ef­fort, which is a $1.3 mil­lion in­crease from the pre­vi­ous year to a to­tal of $55.5 mil­lion.

Bud­get amounts for county de­part­ments are as fol­lows: county ad­min­is­tra­tion, $5.7 mil­lion; com­mu­nity ser­vices, $3.2 mil­lion; planning and zon­ing, $1.9 mil­lion; pub­lic safety, $13.3 mil­lion; pub­lic works, $10.3 mil­lion; parks, $4.1 mil­lion; and sher­iff’s of­fice, $7.5 mil­lion.

Projects in the cap­i­tal bud­get from the re­cent bond sale of $17.5 mil­lion in­clude $9 mil­lion for the new cir­cuit court­house, $3.1 mil­lion for an ad­di­tion to Grasonville El­e­men­tary School, $2.5 mil­lion for road re­pair­ing, $1 mil­lion for en­ergy man­age­ment and fire alarms at Kent Island High School, $600,000 for ve­hi­cles and an am­bu­lance and $300,000 for an ex­pan­sion at the Kent Island Li­brary.

Depart­ment heads are cur­rently mak­ing their case for their depart­ment’s bud­get dur­ing work ses­sions with the com­mis­sion­ers.

Bud­get work ses­sions have been held on March 21 and 28, with fu­ture ses­sions to be held on March 30 and April 4. Pub­lic hear­ings on the county bud­get will be held on April 24 at Bay­side El­e­men­tary, April 25 at the Liberty build­ing and April 26 at Sudlersville Mid­dle School with a fi­nal bud­get adop­tion date of May 23.

To view the bud­get it its en­tirety visit the county’s web­site at


Queen Anne’s County Fi­nance Direc­tor Jonathan See­man, mid­dle, dis­cusses the pro­posed fis­cal 2018 bud­get with the county com­mis­sion­ers on Tues­day, March 21.

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