As reported by the SoMdNews.com, Calvert County Commissioners held a public hearing on the county’s FY 2013 budget last week and plan to vote on the budget the week of June 4. The budget reflects the fiscal difficulties of many Maryland counties.
“We’ve worked extremely hard and made some really tough decisions,” Calvert County Board of County Commissioners’ President Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R) said at the hearing, held at Calvert Pines Senior Center. “We have to make some decisions sometimes that we don’t want to do.”
The nearly $225 million budget, for which the record will remain open until June 4 after which the commissioners will take a final vote, decreased from fiscal 2012 by $7.1 million and includes no new initiatives, staff or salary increases for county employees, but also no layoffs or furloughs. County departments have been asked to decrease their operating expenses by 1 percent.
The county also plans to fund the Calvert County Board of Education at maintenance of effort levels, rather than exceeding that minimum requirement as it has in the past, largely due to the county’s having to share 50 percent of the normal cost of teacher pensions, or $2.8 million. That figure is expected to increase every year for the next four budget years until pensions are funded at 100 percent of the normal cost, said Joan Thorp, deputy director of the Finance and Budget Department.
Clark said that continued rise, coupled with declining property value assessments and other anticipated cost shifts, will make fiscal ’14 “just as bad, if not worse.”