Two people weighed in at the Baltimore County budget hearing this week – and one was not even a Baltimore County resident. But, that is still two more than spoke last year, Pamela Wood reports for The Baltimore Sun.
Mark Baskervill, a resident of Harford County but head of the Baltimore County Campaign for Liberty, spoke against cost-of-living increases to county employee salaries.
He also called attention to the fact that Moody’s, which rates the County triple A, had recently revised its outlook for county finances to “negative”:
“I would recommend spending cuts rather than increasing the debt to finance whatever programs you’re trying to do,” Baskervill said.
Moody’s still gives the county its highest rating of triple-A, but noted that the county faces “mounting challenges” and the need to borrow more money to pay for upcoming construction projects, including schools.
Wood also highlighted on Twitter that the County, in compliance with State law, had to advertise that it was increasing its property tax rate – even though it isn’t. That is because Md. TAX-PROPERTY Code Ann. § 6-308 requires this, right down to specifying the notice language and timeline. If a county will receive increased property tax revenues over the prior year, it must advertise that it is increasing the tax rate, although the rate will stay the same. This part of the law – much like Baltimore County’s existing and proposed tax rate – has been the same for decades.