Prince George’s County Council Unanimously Approves Fiscal 2014 Budget

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The Prince George’s County Council recently approved the county’s fiscal 2014 budget keeping property taxes level and avoiding employee furloughs. As reported by the Washington Post:

The Prince George’s County Council on Thursday unanimously approved a $2.7 billion spending plan that restores Sunday hours at three public libraries, offers a modest increase for public schools and maintains a $50 million economic development fund that County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) has made a centerpiece of his administration.The budget, which will take effect July 1, avoids unpaid furloughs for the county’s 6,000 employees, a contentious issue that was being negotiated until a few days before Thursday’s council vote.

The budget will also keep the property tax rates at 96 cents per $100 of assessed value and provide $18 million for employee salary increases. With regard to education,

The council allocated nearly $1.7 billion for the county’s 204 public schools, an increase of about $23 million from current spending levels. The extra money was designated for teacher pay raises and efforts to improve high school academics, among other purposes.

But the council declined to fund a nearly $2 million request from the Board of Education to hire 15 new staff members, saying it would await the outcome of a planned audit of the school system that is expected to begin this year.