On May 3, Charles County Commissioners adopted the general fund FY 2017 budget of $375.5 million; funding for education and public safety make up more than 71 percent of the budget.
According to a Charles County press release,
The balanced budget was adopted without raising property tax and income tax rates. Funding for education and public safety accounts for more than 71 percent of the General Fund budget. The budget adoption also supports an investment in the county government workforce, as well as a fiscal 2017 Capital Projects budget of $94,833,000.
- No increase in fiscal 2017 property and income tax rates.
- Real property tax rate is maintained at $1.141 for county government and $0.064 for Fire and Rescue per $100 of assessed value.
- Local income tax rate is maintained at 3.03 percent of the state liability.
- A $4.4 million funding increase for Charles County Public Schools, 2.6 percent more than fiscal 2016. The county’s $170.5 million investment, to support salary raises for teacher and other public schools employees, is the largest ever for Charles County Public Schools.
- Continued funding for the Board of Education’s priority projects, including a new elementary school on Billingsley Road; renovations to Dr. Samuel A. Mudd and Eva Turner elementary schools, and Maurice J. McDonough High School; various full-day kindergarten additions; and existing schools’ maintenance.
- College of Southern Maryland funding increase to $120,100 for network security system enhancements and increased mediation services.
- Initial funding for the College of Southern Maryland’s Health Care Training Facility at the new regional campus in Hughesville.
- The Commissioners approved the Charles County Public Library’s request for a bookmobile, contingent on an operating cost agreement with the Library Board.
Public Safety and Health
- A $2.8 million funding increase for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, 3.5 percent more than fiscal 2016, to support hiring additional officers, capital/equipment purchases, and a salary increase for staff.
- Five new Emergency Medical Service (EMS) employees, to improve public safety services in underserved areas of the county.
- Additional funding for the Department of Health to offset a decrease in state grant funding.