Wicomico County Budget Adopted, Despite Dissent

The Wicomico County Charter spells out a process for a budget to be adopted in the event that the County Council does not act by June 15. In that case, the budget proposal by the County Executive becomes the adopted budget by default. This process prevailed this year, amidst a number of differences over the coming year’s spending plan.

From the Daily Times coverage:

By a 6-1 vote, the council on Tuesday rejected Rick Pollitt’s $112.8 million amended budget plan for next year. It marks the first time the legislative branch has failed to adopt the executive’s budget — and for Pollitt, the vote was a victory. The charter states that if the council doesn’t adopt a budget by June 15, the proposal backed by the executive goes into effect July 1.

Next year’s budget reduces funding to education and public safety by historic levels — hard decisions Pollitt called necessary after three years of anemic revenues, including a roughly $8 million drop this year. The Sheriff’s Office and the county’s 911 center both faced budget reductions. The county’s property tax rate, at $.759 per $100 of assessed value, will stay unchanged. In terms of fee increases, construction businesses paying $55 a ton to drop off waste at the landfill must pay $60 a ton next fiscal year. Two dollars of the extra fee will help prop up the county’s Roads Division, while the other $3 will go toward the Solid Waste Division, which oversees the landfill.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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