Harford Exec’s Proposed Budget Cuts Taxes, Fully Funds Education, Invests in Public Safety

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman proposes the “largest property tax cut in County history” as part of his recommended budget for fiscal 2023.

The County Executive’s proposal also fully funds the school board’s operating budget request for the third consecutive year and makes record-level investments in public safety.

“This budget marks the culmination of seven years of innovation and efficiency, resulting in the most significant economic progress in Harford’s history. It’s sort of like hitting the trifecta; we have fully funded education and public safety and cut taxes. Even with the remnants of the pandemic, we have achieved sustained economic growth in jobs, income, and investment.”

According to a Harford County press release:

Relief for Taxpayers

The budget recommends a 5-cent cut in the property tax rate. Taxpayer relief during County Executive Glassman’s term totals $43 million.

Record-level Funding for Education

Full funding of the school board’s operating budget request is $33.2 million above the required Maintenance of Effort and exceeds the county’s Kirwan requirement. Increases in county funding for Harford County Public Schools during the Glassman administration have outpaced state funding by more than 2 to 1. FY 23 operating funds increase by 10% for Harford Community College and by 11% for Harford County Public Library. Major capital projects for K-12 education include a record single-year funding increase for technology, the new Homestead Wakefield Elementary School and renovation of Harford Technical High School.

Historic Investments in Public Safety

Record-level investments include 64 additional public safety staff in multiple agencies, full implementation of the Body Worn Camera Program, and full funding of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office’s requested wage enhancements. Wage increases are a 7% COLA plus a 3% merit or step increase for all law enforcement, corrections, and civilian personnel. Volunteer fire companies and the Harford County Volunteer Fire & EMS Foundation receive record-level funding, including wage parity with county employees for paid EMS providers. Capital projects for public safety include full funding of the volunteer fire companies’ priority repairs and life safety equipment and construction of the Riverside Fire & EMS Station.

Community Investments

Community investments include continued funding to facilitate high-speed internet in unserved and underserved rural areas, $2.4 million for preventing and treating opioid addiction and mental health services, and $1 million for Harford County’s first African American Heritage Preservation Program.

“I want to thank my budget staff, county employees, our partners throughout the county, and our citizens. Over the past seven years we have experienced ups and downs, but we’ve always remained Harford Strong. I am pleased that I have positioned the county to prosper well into the future for our next generation.”

The County Executive’s FY 23 budget video is online at https://youtu.be/9vCPVHhePqc.

His full budget proposal is posted on the Harford County website.

Visit the Harford County website for more information.