Revenue Loss Forces Garrett Commissioners To Tighten Fiscal 2015 Budget

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Garrett County Commissioners approved the county’s fiscal 2015 budget during their regularly scheduled meeting held on June 3. The $71.8 million budget is significantly lower than the prior year and provides no funding for capital projects. Tax rates remain unchanged.

As reported by the Cumberland Times-News:

The budget will be reduced by more than $6.5 million when compared to fiscal 2014 ($71.8 million versus $78.3 million). The county lost more than $5 million in revenue, $3 million in real estate tax, $525,000 in income tax and $500,000 in recordation tax, according to Scott Weeks, director of financial services for the county.

Commissioner Gregan Crawford stressed that despite the reduction in the budget that the property tax rate was kept flat, there weren’t any cost of living adjustments in the budget and the rainy day fund, which makes up 5 percent of the budget, remained intact.

“Friends, I just want to say that this budget before us is one of the most difficult in my four years,” said Raley. “Not only does it involve having to say no to many agencies and people who I trust, but it also cuts into services performed at the governmental level.”

The budget won’t show any funding for capital outlay and small equipments projects.

“Obviously, capital really suffered. We will continue to operate and have some carryover funds to fill in those gaps,” said Gatto. “I’m pleased but there is still a lot of work to do.”

The approved fiscal 2015 budget can be found on the county’s website.