County Budget Roundup: Most Counties “Staying the Course”

With the Maryland economy showing continued signs of modest, but not particularly strong or reliable growth, many of Maryland’s counties are taking a measured approach to the budget year ahead. County budgets — with each county on its own cycle for proposal and adoption — are coming together with a common theme in many places of modest spending growth, no changes in tax rates, and fairly new major initiatives.

Below, we round up several jurisdictions’ budget progress, with links to local newspaper coverage, county websites, and other resources that offer more details on the proposals and processes underway. In many counties with the Commissioner form of government, the first step is a staff-developed proposal, which does not yet include any actions by the elected governing body, and acts merely as a starting point for discussion and community input. Each county begins a new fiscal year on July 1.


Calvert County: Road paving is the largest new item in 3.7% growth of staff-proposed budget

Caroline County: Staff-proposed budget includes 1.4% growth over FY16

Carroll County: School funding up, other pending down in approved budgetnews coverage

Cecil County: Executive’s budget includes slight increase to “constant yield” tax rate

Charles County: Proposed expenditure growth under 4%, even with salary-driven cost increases

Frederick County: Executive’s proposed budget focuses on education and public safety

Prince George’s County: Commercial tax base growth powers strong budget

Queen Anne’s County: Modest budget growth proposed, without tax rate changes

St. Mary’s County: Staff recommended budget supported by 2% revenue growth

Talbot County: Public safety centers a “real needs” budget approach

Wicomico County: Executive’s proposed budget targets modest growth without tax rate changes

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties