As Calvert County begins its budget process, staff presented its recommended FY 2016 budget to county commissioners during a public hearing held last week. The staff recommended budget of $239 million is almost $4 million less than the current fiscal year and contains no tax increases or pay raises.
As reported by Southern Maryland Newspapers Online,
Growth in past decades allowed the county to make ends meet, but growth has slowed and assessments have declined, and the county is confronted by budgetary challenges from the state, [County Administrator Terry] Shannon said.
There is $11 million in total state impact in the fiscal ’16 budget, and teacher pensions are the largest single increase in the coming fiscal year. In fiscal ’15, $4,071,000 was allocated to teacher pensions. In the fiscal ’16 budget, $4,754,000 is allocated, an increase of 16.78 percent, according to Tuesday’s presentation.
The budget included an initial $5.9 million deficit when a $3 million deficit was originally anticipated. The deficit is offset with use of $1.2 million of assigned fund balance from other post-employment benefits, $2.2 million of unassigned fund balance from pay-go, leaving a deficit of more than $2.4 million still to be resolved, according to Tuesday’s presentation.
The article mentions that although there has been an 8% decline in student enrollment, there has not been a corresponding decline in Calvert County public school funding. The budget also includes an increase in the solid waste fee.
A public hearing on the Board of Commissioner’s budget is scheduled for May 19.