Proposed budget at $133.8 million
CENTREVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners officially introduced the county’s proposed fiscal 2018 operating and capital budgets Tuesday, April 11. The operating budget shows an increase of $4.1 million.
Finance Director Jonathan Seeman gave a short
presentation highlighting parts of the budget during the meeting.
The operating budget is proposed at $133.8 million and the capital budget is proposed at $37 million. The 3.2 percent operational budget increase, Seeman said, is mainly from the $1.2 million increase in property taxes and $3 million increase in income taxes.
The $4.1 million budget increase is proposed to be spent on employee compensation and benefits, the Board of Education, public safety, parks, aging and Southern Kent Island Sewer Project financial aid assistance.
The county will host public hearings regarding the proposed budget at 7 p.m. on April 24 at Bayside Elementar y School, April 25 at the Liber ty Building in Centreville and April 26 at Sudlersville Middle School. A tax rate hearing will be held at the April 25 meeting in Centreville.
The county has proposed not to use the Constant Yield Rate, which is the number the tax rate should be set at to receive the same amount of income as the previous year according to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. Because property values increased during the last assessment, which took place in northern Queen Anne’s County, the rate would need to be lowered to $0.8388 per $100 of assessed value.
Seeman said the county is not going to use that figure and instead will keep the tax rate at $0.8471 per $100 of assessed value, resulting in $670,000 in revenue.
For the first time, the county has provided funding to the Department of Housing and Community Services budget, $225,000, for financial aid assistance to low-income families in the Southern Kent Island Sewer Project area.
“We have a stable economic base, a solid revenue framework and Fitch indicated that they expected us to have growth in our revenue to be above inflation,” Seeman said when talking about the county’s recent AAA bond rating. “And they took into account that there was a modest appreciation in residential property values, and conservative budget management practices have contributed to consistent reser ve levels.”
The county has proposed funding the Board of Education at “maintenance of effort,” a state law that requires each county spend as much per student as it did the previous year, which is $55,495,261. The amount is an increase in $1.3 million from last year.
Other budgeted categories include: county administration, $5.7 million; community services, $3.5 million; planning and zoning, $1.9 million; public safety, which includes animal services, the detention center and emergency services, $13.3 million; public works, $10.3 million; parks, $4.1 million; and the sheriff’s office, $7.5 million.
The county has proposed funding $6.4 million in Board of Education projects, which includes the six-classroom addition to Grasonville Elementary School at $3.1 million. Seeman said most Board of Education capital projects have matching state funds.
Other capital project allocations from the $15.8 million proposed bond sale numbers include $8 million for the new circuit courthouse, $2.5 million for asphalt overlay, $250,000 for a new detention center roof and four public schools projects.
To view the budget in its entirety, visit the county’s website at www.qac.org/587/BudgetSection.
Queen Anne’s County Finance Director Jonathan Seeman highlights sections of the proposed fiscal 2018 budget during the county’s Tuesday, April 11, meeting.