Calvert’s proposed operating budget of $297 million focuses on “education, public safety, capital investments, and maintaining a high level of service to our community,” according to County Administrator Terry Shannon’s cover letter to the Commissioners.
With an increase of $13.8 million over fiscal 2018, the budget also allows room for a property tax decrease of 25 cents, from $0.952 to $0.937 – largely due to initiation of operations at the expanded Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas plant, and the accompanying Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement.
The budget allows for a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for County employees of 1.22 percent, as well as step increases. The County provides $144 million, or 49 percent of its General Fund, to the Board of Education – above Maintenance of Effort. Other highlights include:
- A $1.5 million increase to Calvert County’s Highway Maintenance Division to fund the road paving program bringing the total amount provided for paving to $5.5 million, finally at a level the Director of Public Works is satisfied with.
- The first year’s funding of about $1.8m for the operations of the new Linda L. Kelley Animal shelter.
Properties in the southern end of the County are projected see tax assessments increase by 4 percent over three years, helping to bolster the budget.
The County will hold a public hearing on the budget and proposed tax decrease on May 15.