On March 18, Calvert County staff presented the FY 2015 recommended budget to the County Commissioners. The $239.9 million General Fund budget reflects a deficit of $7.4 million, noting that the County will use fund balance to cover one-time expenditures and will look for other ways to reduce costs to ensure operating costs are covered by current sources of revenue.
From the SoMdNews.com article,
The deficit portion being covered by fund balance “can be thought of as discretionary,” Director of Finance and Budget Tim Hayden said, explaining that “we would make it through the next year without funding them. Each would create its own issues, but we’d be OK.”
“Our estimates reveal that we have some good news, and we have some not-so-good news,” County Administrator Terry Shannon said. The good news is property assessments are beginning to stabilize, and there may be some increase in income tax revenue, she said. The bad news, she said, is that revenue is remaining the same while expenditures are increasing. “What you see tonight is not a balanced budget.”
From Calvert County’s staff recommended budget document,
As in prior years, funding is focused on education, public safety, capital investments, and to maintain the high level of service to the community. Education accounts for approximately 52% of the General Fund budget. The BOE is projecting a $575,000 increase in State funding which is a welcome change from prior year decreases.
Calvert County staff also notes that several expenses related to FY 2014 were prefunded in FY 2013.
These expenses, therefore, do not appear in FY 2014 but are in this proposed budget for FY 2015, thereby attributing to this change. They are:
- $3.5 million contribution to the Other Post-Employment Benefits trust fund, benefiting both the County and the BOE employees.
- $940,000 increase for Sheriff’s office vehicle purchases and the required, related equipment.
- $404,000 increase for Land Preservation funding
- $145,000 increase for a Dump Truck for Highway
Other significant increases to note are:
- A $476,000 increase in funding the State of Maryland’s teacher pension costs to bring this year’s funding for the teacher’s pension expense to $4.1 million.
- A $465,000 estimated increase for health insurance
To view the full staff recommended budget, visit Calvert County’s website.