The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County approved the FY 2017 General Fund budget of $222.1 million; a 2.3% decrease from FY 2016.
According to a St. Mary’s County press release,
The balanced budget was adopted without raising property tax or income tax rates. Nearly 63% of the approved budget funding is earmarked for education and public safety. The approved budget also invests in furthering economic development in the county and capital improvement projects.
Among the budget highlights:
- No change in the real property tax rate of $.8523 per $100 of assessed value. The rate in St. Mary’s is the 4th lowest in the state of Maryland.
- Local income tax rate remains unchanged at 3% of net taxable income.
- Funding to the Board of Education totals $102.6 million, an increase of $4.6 million over FY16. The county’s recurring investment of $99.7 million supports the full cost of merit increases provided in FY16 and required increases for health insurance. $2.9 million in reverted Capital Investment Project (CIP) Pay-Go is being used for one-time funding of Technology and Science book replacements. When combined with State dollars, the Board of Education’s overall funding increase is $5.9 million.
- College of Southern Maryland funding increases by $9,250 for the Water Safety Program for 5th graders.
- A 9.8% compensation increase for Sheriff’s Office Sworn employees and a 7% increase for Corrections employees.
- $10,000 for software training for emergency services dispatchers; $297,383 for NextGen 800MHz/Radio System maintenance.
- Emergency Services Support tax rises from $016 to $.024 due to increased costs for LOSAP’s current retirees and trust fund.
County Government Operations
- An overall 7.7 percent increase in county department budgets, including a 2.5% salary increase for regular and regular part time employees.
- Environmental and Solid Waste Fee increase from $60 to $72 per dwelling for solid waste management and recycling services for residential and nonresidential properties.
- Funding for Non-Profits is budgeted in within Aging and Human Services, Economic Development and Recreation and Parks department budgets depending on their content area. Approved budget funding is $1.1 million.
“We have been very successful in crafting this year’s budget especially with respect to the challenging economic environment we are facing,” said Commissioner President Randy Guy. “We remain cautiously optimistic our property tax revenues will ultimately come in favorably and allow us to continue to provide the services our citizens expect.”