St. Mary’s to Reduce Tax Rates, Increase Education Funding

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St. Mary’s County Commissioners plan to reduce property taxes and increase funding for education in the FY 2016 budget that will go before them next week for final approval. As reported by Southern Maryland Newspapers Online,

The residential property tax rate will be reduced from 85.7 cents per $100 of assessed value to 85.32 cents, which reduces overall county revenues by $543,849. It is the first reduction in the local property tax rate since fiscal 2007.

But individuals “may not see a reduction in their property tax bill,” depending on the rise in the assessment on their property, said Jeanett Cudmore, chief financial officer for St. Mary’s County government.

The business personal property tax rate will be reduced slightly to 2.13 percent, which will cost St. Mary’s County government about $35,000.

The St. Mary’s County Board of Education will be funded $98,015,001 in local dollars, up from $96.2 million in the commissioners’ recommended budget that went to public hearing.

The board of education is negotiating with employee unions and teachers are seeking a two-step pay increase. Bus drivers working outside of the school system are also seeking pay parity, and the commissioners added $169,195 to make that possible.

Additional information on the County’s proposed FY 2016 budget can be found on the County’s Department of Finance webpage.