The Frederick County Council approved the County’s budget on Tuesday, days before the County experienced severely compromising flooding.
County Executive Jan Gardner’s proposed budget aligns with the jurisdiction’s “Strategic Priorities,” focusing on “good government, exceptional public schools, a vibrant economy with a diversity of jobs,” and meeting “community needs through public safety, health, transportation and general well-being.” As proposed and as approved, the budget includes no tax rate increases. The General Fund budget increases by 4.58 percent.
With Frederick County Public Schools teaching nearly 800 additional students this past year, the County is providing $5 million in mandated maintenance of effort, as well as an additional $7.2 million above that for raises for teachers and staff. The capital budget reflects a nearly $225 million investment in school construction over four years.
County employees receive a step increase.
The budget also accommodates for a number of new initiatives. These include dedication of 1.5 percent of recordation tax revenue to the Housing Initiative Fund, which leverages federal tax credit programs to support workforce and affordable housing; start-up funds to implement a public private partnership to address the opioid epidemic through treatment and a new detox center; and the development of a new business innovation center, ROOT, which opened its doors about a month ago.