Baltimore City Council Approves $2.4 Billion Budget For Fiscal 2014

The Baltimore City Council approved the City’s fiscal 2014 budget during its meeting on June 17, reducing property taxes, increasing some fees, and providing salary increases for employees.  As reported by the Baltimore Sun:

The cut will reduce the property tax payments on a home valued at $200,000 by about $140. But the same resident will pay $40 to $120 for stormwater cleanup and a 25-cent fee on each taxi ride — with another water bill hike on the horizon.

The budget includes a 2 percent raise for city workers, but they will see cuts in their health and pension benefits, and civilian employees will start contributing 1 percent of their salaries to their pensions. Overall, the changes will help close a $30 million projected budget shortfall.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s statement on the passage of the budget offers more details.

The plan includes a bold set of major reforms to fundamentally change the way the city does business. The fiscal 2014 budget and associated reforms mark the first major steps toward implementing the Ten-Year Financial Plan. Implementing the plan will help:

  • Eliminate a serious $750 million structural budget deficit—protecting public safety from budget cuts.
  • Double city funding for school construction and renovation, which will help finance our historic $1.1 billion effort to build 15 new schools and significantly renovate as many as 30 more.
  • Allow new investments in neighborhood infrastructure—including repairing roads and rebuilding ten recreation centers—and providing a funding surge for the demolition of more than 4,000 vacant homes.
  • All while further reducing the property tax burden on city homeowners.