Caroline County Commissioners recently approved a $43.3 million general fund budget for fiscal 2015. The budget includes a property tax increase of two cents, bringing the rate up to the constant yield tax rate, and provides a pay increase for employees of $1,750 per year.
From the County’s budget message:
In FY 15, the Commissioners have proposed a “constant yield” property tax increase of two cents. Because assessments have fallen, the County must slightly increase the tax rate to collect the same amount of revenues. This is call the “constant yield” rate.
While income tax receipts are projected to increase slightly, overall the County does not anticipate any increase in total revenues in FY 15.
The budget message states the following regarding expenditures:
As has become common practice, the County Commissioners required every department and allied agency to submit a flat budget request (no increase in spending) for FY 15.
For the first time in seven years, the Commissioners were able to fund a significant pay increase for County employees. The $1,750 per year increase is about a four percent raise for an employee at the median wage. While a substantive increase, it falls well short of matching the increase in the cost of living over the past seven years (14 percent).
With health insurance expenses continuing to rise faster than the rate of inflation, the Commissioners chose to split the premium increase with the employee 50/50.
Budget documents can be found on the county’s website.