Potential Stall on Baltimore County Capital Projects

An article in The Baltimore Sun* discussed Baltimore County’s upcoming budget plans and the effects it could have on capital construction projects. Due to the economic difficulties facing most counties in Maryland, Baltimore County officials have tough budgetary decisions to make: raise taxes or postpone capital projects.  The County has not risen property taxes for 23 years and it has been 19 years since the last income tax increase.  County Executive Kevin Kamenetz is proud that these rates have not risen and would like to maintain them. Chief of Staff, Don Mohler hopes to continue this trend:

“It’s getting harder and harder to do that, but it’s clearly one of [Kamenetz’s] objectives, and it’s why he has worked hard since Day 1,” Mohler said. “As we go forward, what you’re going to see in Baltimore County is a laserlike focus on core services and an attempt to avoid lying off and furloughing public employees”

Therefore, in order to continue the trend, the county predicts that some capital projects may be postponed:

 “We’re in the process of reviewing that now with the Department of Public Works and talking with council members,” Mohler said. “Everything is under review.”

A county budget advisory panel has estimated that general fund revenues for the fiscal year that begins July 1 will be about $50 million less than this year. And it’s not clear how much a proposed shift of teacher pension costs from the state to local governments could cost the county, Mohler said.

Kamenetz plans to release his budget proposal by April 12th.

*The Baltimore Sun is a limited view site.

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