Budget and Finance Affiliate Discusses Revenue Picture For Fiscal 2016

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County budget and finance officers met on January 12, 2015 to hear from Director of the Bureau of Revenue Estimates Andy Schaufele, and State Department of Assessment and Taxation(SDAT) Supervisor Chuck Cluster, regarding revenue and assessable base estimates for Fiscal 2016.

Revenue Estimates

Mr. Schaufele provided revenue estimates for Fiscal 2015 and 2016 as of December 2014. The State’s General Fund is expected to grow by 3.9% in Fiscal 2015, dropping slightly to 3.5% in Fiscal 2016.  While income tax withholdings are increasing, growth has been somewhat sluggish due to federal cutbacks. This sluggish growth led to the revenue write-down that was announced by the Board of Public Works in December. Additional information can be found in a prior post on Conduit Street.

State sales tax revenues are estimated to grow by 4.6% in Fiscal 2015 and 4.5% in Fiscal 2016.  This is largely due to the opening of the Amazon distribution center in Baltimore.

Assessable Base Estimates

Mr. Cluster provided a series of tables showing the estimated taxable assessable base at the county level for Fiscal 2015 through 2017.  The estimated real property assessable base realizes slow, but steady growth during this timeframe.

Mr. Cluster also provided information on recent assessment notices.  As previously posted on Conduit Street, the grouping of residential properties recently assessed increased in value an average of 8.1%.

Lastly, Mr. Cluster discussed the Homestead Tax Credit application and provided information on the number of homeowners who have not yet completed one. At this time 63,000 homeowners have not completed a homestead credit application. It is assumed that these applications have not been filed because the homeowners are not eligible.