This week, Charles County Director of Fiscal and Administrator Services Jeni Ellin and Chief of Budget Jacob Dyer presented the County’s proposed fiscal 2023 budget of $493,135,100, an increase of 9.5 percent over last year.
The proposed budget makes critical investments in core programs and services while holding steady income and property tax rates. Charles County maintains top ratings from each of the three rating agencies, which validates the fiscal stewardship of the County’s budget and enables the county to borrow money at lower interest rates.
The budget increases support for public education and new funding associated with the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future and finances infrastructure improvements. In addition, the budget provides for merit and cost-of-living increases to employee compensation, adds new positions within county government, schools, and law enforcement to meet the needs of a growing community, and more.
According to a County press release:
General Fund budget highlights include:
- $12 million increase for Charles County Public Schools, which exceeds maintenance of effort funding and increases per pupil spending by 6 percent. The total allocation, which also includes funding for the Charles County Public Library and College of Southern Maryland, is $227.98 million, or 46.2 percent, of the General Fund budget.
- $7.13 million increase for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, with a total allocation of $107.99 million, or 21.9 percent of the General Fund budget. Ten new positions are being proposed for station clerks, forensic science technicians, court security officers and a teen court specialist.
- $6.75 million increase for County Government operations. The total allocation is $78.47 million, or 15.9 percent, of the General Fund budget. Eight new emergency medical technicians are being proposed to support ambulance service in the Waldorf area. New positions are being proposed to support county road maintenance; diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; recreation services; information technology; planning; and community resource coordination.
- $3.39 million increase for other local government functions, with a total allocation of $19.59 million, or 4.0 percent, of the General Fund Budget. This allocation provides funding for the State’s Attorney’s Office, Health Department, Circuit Court, Election Board and other government agencies’ support.
- Funding is being considered that would support a state-required body worn camera program, which must be implemented by 2025.
The proposed fiscal year 2023-27 Capital Improvement Program budget is $842.3 million. provides for county infrastructure including schools, county buildings, roads, parks, water and sewer facilities, and stormwater management. Highlights include:
- Construction of a new elementary school, planning for a new middle school, and additions for full day kindergarten classrooms;
- Open space enclosure funding for Piccowaxen Middle School, Indian Head Elementary School, and Dr. James Craik Elementary School;
- Planning for a new recreation center;
- Phase III of the Western Parkway;
- New parks in Waldorf and Popes Creek;
- New VanGO maintenance facility;
- Water and sewer infrastructure improvement; and
- Stormwater infrastructure.