Baltimore County Council Unanimously Approves Fiscal 2016 Operating and Capital Budgets

The Baltimore County Council unanimously approved an a $3.3 billion operating budget and a $375 million capital budget last week, maintaining tax rates and providing funds for construction projects. As reported by the Baltimore Sun,

The county’s operating budget includes $1.9 billion in general fund spending, with the rest of the money coming from state, federal and other sources. The general fund gets most of its money from property taxes — $1.10 per every $100 of assessed value — and local income taxes, at 2.83 percent. The property and income tax rates have remained unchanged for more than 20 years.

The council also approved a $375 million capital budget that will pay for construction projects such as schools, roads and parks.

Budget discussions did lead council members to express concerns with the school board’s process for enrollment projections.

County officials are frustrated that the system changed the way it makes long-term enrollment projections for schools without discussing the change with members of the County Council or Kamenetz.

Council Chairwoman Cathy Bevins said if enrollment projections change, it could have a “ripple effect” on deciding when and where to pay for school construction projects. The county is in the midst of a $1.3 billion “Schools for Our Future” building initiative that aims to address overcrowding by 2021.

County Executive Kamenentz plans to seek funding for a review of the projections.

More detailed information on the approved budget can be located on the county website.

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