The Frederick County Council approved the FY 2017 budget of $560 million and property tax rate at a recent council meeting. A little more than half of the budget is slated to go towards education with the next highest funding category to public safety.
According to The Frederick News-Post,
The final budget sticks very closely to the original spending plan pitched by County Executive Jan Gardner, a Democrat. The council also approved a $125.6 million capital budget, which details funding for major projects including school construction and bridge repair, and the county’s Capital Improvement Program, which lays out plans for building projects through 2022.
The council also voted to keep the property tax rate at $1.06 for each $100 of assessed value, the same rate in place this year. Some council members sought to decrease that rate to the “constant yield” property tax rate of $1.0362, which would bring in the same amount of revenue as this year.
The majority of proposed spending — $285 million, or about 51 percent of total expenditures — is slated to go to education, which includes Frederick County Public Schools, Frederick Community College and Frederick County Public Libraries. The next highest category is public safety, with proposed funding of $107.8 million, or 19.2 percent of the total.
In budget hearings, the council voted on a total of $210,300 in cuts. The proposed cuts — which decrease funding for marketing materials at the county’s Office of Economic Development and postpone the purchase of a lawn mower and work trucks — were pitched by Keegan-Ayer and Chmelik.
Chmelik said he supported large parts of the final budget, but wished to see a more restrained spending plan. He said the council could have kept most of the proposed spending in the budget, while also lowering the property tax rate to the constant yield, which would help struggling families.
To read the full budget article, please visit The Frederick News-Post online.