Harford Budget Proposal Holds the Line on Taxes, Makes Record Investments in Education & Public Safety

Harford County Executive’s proposed budget surpasses funding levels in public safety and education without raising taxes.

County Executive Barry Glassman has released a recommended county budget for fiscal year 2018 which includes no increase in tax rates yet provides record-level funding for public safety, education, and libraries, according to the County. The recommended budget also doubles funding to fight the opioid epidemic, increases school security measures, and invests a record $22 million to protect land from future development.

According to a Harford County press release:

“I began my term leading Harford County on a new path to fiscal balance and efficiency because I’ve always believed that if you want to lift someone up, you’ve got to be on higher ground,” County Executive Barry Glassman said. “While this path has not always been easy, it has allowed my administration to direct a total of nearly $38 million over the past four years toward reinstating salary increases for our teachers, law enforcement and dedicated county employees, without raising taxes. We have done all this at the same time we have restored our unassigned fund balance, maintained the county’s AAA bond rating and implemented the county’s first property tax credit for qualifying seniors and military retirees.”

Restoring Balance & Efficiency

  • No tax increases
  • 100% of new, ongoing FY 19 revenue dedicated to education and public safety
  • County government efficiencies help fund other operations
  • Unassigned fund balance more than doubled over the last three years
  • AAA bond rating lowers borrowing costs; rating maintained due to strong management and
    realistic Capital Improvement Program

Reinvesting in our Workforce

  • 2% COLA for all county employees plus a $2,000 merit-based increase to the base salary per
    qualifying employee
  • Equivalent increases for State’s Attorney and Circuit Court employees
  • Merit-based increase will have greater impact on lower-salaried workers
  • Funding equivalent to a 3% salary increase for Library employees; sets record-level funding for
  • Harford County Public Library
  • $2.8 million to fully fund the Sheriff’s Office’s request for salary increases; totals $5.3 million
    over the last two years
  • $122,472 for the new Sheriff’s Office Cadet Program

Investing in Education

Record-level funding continues for Harford County Public Schools:

  • $245,815,645 in FY 19 operating funds for HCPS; total increase of $7.1 million over FY 18
  • $6.4 million of the total increase dedicated to raising instructional salaries, continuing our support for teachers
  • $400,000 to Harford Community College for the county’s traditional 1/3 share of funding to
    support staff salary increases

Strengthening Communities

Preventing and treating opioid addiction:

  • County funding more than doubled to $610,000
  • Includes $250,000 toward the county’s first 24-hour crisis center for mental health &
  • Historic-level funding for our first responders:
  • $6,964,084 Volunteer Fire Companies; represents a 3% increase over FY 2018
  • $3,546,668 EMS Foundation
  • $1,589,118 County EMS Service

Keeping our children safe in school:

  • $773,000 to expand existing School Resource Officer Program to remaining middle schools
  • $325,000 to fully fund requested school security camera upgrades
  • $100,000 ongoing annual funding to improve radio communications in schools

Agricultural preservation:

  • Record-level funding of $22 million from revenue dedicated to preserving agricultural land

Support for Community Organizations:

  • Harford County Humane Society
  • Harford Center
  • The Arc Northern Chesapeake

Read the full press release for more information.