The Frederick County Board of Commissioners approved a $449 million operating budget by a 4-1 vote for the upcoming fiscal year. The balanced budget did not require an increase in property or fire tax. A Frederick County press release states:
Board President Blaine Young said, “Today’s approval of the budget is the first step toward insuring financial stability for the citizens of Frederick County through a more streamlined and more efficient county government. Due to the economy, the board was faced with making tough decisions, but with the support of our County Manager and directors, we have achieved the task of eliminating an $11.8 million deficit and balancing our books with no tax increases. Additionally, we did not utilize any special revenue or enterprise fund reserves to balance the general fund. However, our work is not done yet – we have a lot more to do to reduce our county’s structural deficit, where our recurring expenses are more than our recurring revenues.”
Since the base budget, the significant adjustments to the budget are in the following areas:
- Board of Education agreement to contribute $3.2 million toward reducing the county deficit;
- Improved state income tax estimates leading to a $4.2 million revenue increase;
- Recalculation of Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) trust funds for a savings of $2.3 million;
- Reorganization of the Division of Fire & Rescue Services, resulting in a reduction in salary and benefits of up to $670,000 (Fire/Rescue Special Taxing Districts);
- Reorganization and consolidation of the Planning, Permitting and Development Review, and Economic Development Divisions into a single Community Development Division, as well as the reorganization of the Interagency Information Technologies Division, saving over $584,000 (Permitting & Development Review Fund and General Fund);
- Relinquishment of the Head Start grant to the federal government for a reduction of $2.3 million;
- Reduction in the workforce of 38 positions for budget savings of $2.4 million;
- Reductions to grant-in-aid and non-county organizations saved $305,069, and
- Transfer of $4.45 million to the Fire Tax Fund and $500,942 to increase fuel reserves to allow for potential higher pump prices.
- Health care rebid/rate adjustment of $2.1 million.
- State Department of Assessments and Taxation charge to the county at $1.3 million.
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