The Talbot County Council unanimously approved its fiscal 2014 budget, increasing the property tax rate and providing employee increases for the first time in over four years. As reported by the Star Democrat:
The fiscal year 2013-14 budget figures are up with an overall total that has increased by $2.8 million, or 4 percent, over the 2013 budget, part of a trend that began last year.
The 4 percent increase moves the current budget from $69,651,600 up to $72,450,000 next year.
In last year’s budget, the council approved an increase in the local income tax rate and the property tax.
In the new budget, the property tax rate has been increased again, to 51.2 cents per $100 per assessed value.
The Council was also able to increase the county’s fund balance.
Recent years’ history of the county’s budget shows large amounts kept in an available fund balance that was $22.5 million in 2009 but dwindled to $2.8 million at the end of this year.
A hallmark of the Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget is an attempt to reverse that trend. For the first time in five years, the available fund balance will not be used or decreased – instead it will be increased.
County officials are hoping that the $2.8 million will be increased to $6.1 million with the new budget.