This week, the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners approved a $342 million fiscal year fiscal 2023 general fund operating budget. The budget reflects the County’s strong financial position and invests in education, personnel, public safety, and other essential services.
The budget is fully balanced and reflects an increase of approximately $14.1 million over the current year’s budget. The increase includes $4.5 million in additional income tax revenue, $1.5 million in property tax revenue, a $1.7 million transfer from capital projects, and a $6.4 million increase from other revenue categories, including a health insurance reimbursement.
Funding toward education remains the primary focus of the budget, which includes nearly $141 million for Calvert County Public Schools and makes up 41 percent of the general fund operating budget and 37 percent of the six-year capital projects budget. The current funding exceeds the state-mandated maintenance of effort by $6.6 million.
The fiscal 2023 budget also continues to address public safety as a priority, with eight new positions for the County’s Career Emergency Medical Services, one employee for Emergency Management, and one employee for the State’s Attorney’s Office. In addition, seventeen other positions were added to various departments to improve citizens’ services.
The budget also includes increases to base wages for County employees to move toward more competitive pay. Sworn officers of the Sheriff’s Office will receive a market adjustment of 14 percent, sworn officers of the Detention Center will receive 16 percent, and non-sworn positions will receive a 17 percent adjustment.
“This budget shows continued investment in programs and services that provide a high quality of life for our citizens,” said BOCC President Earl F. “Buddy” Hance. “Calvert County remains on strong financial footing, despite concerns over the impact of the pandemic, exemplified by AAA bond ratings for six consecutive years. The budget is our toughest challenge every year, especially with rising costs and changing markets. Through this budget, we’ve ensured fiscal and operational sustainability that will keep Calvert in a strong financial position while supporting the community’s most essential needs and priorities.”
According to a County press release:
The FY 2023 operating budget also includes:
- A step increase, or salary increase, for county employees and a restorative step increase for those who were employed by the county on or before July 1, 2011.
- A 4% cost of living adjustment for county employees.
- An Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) contribution of $2.25 million, the full Actuarial Determined Contribution (ADC), had been provided for in this budget.
- $4.2 million is provided to the Highway Maintenance Division to fund the road paving program.
The six-year, $363 million Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) lays out the county’s capital program for FY 2023-2028. School construction and renovation account for the largest category, totaling more than $95 million, with significant resources going toward Beach Elementary School and Northern Middle School. Public Works Enterprise Funds, which includes solid waste/recycling and water and sewer, is the next largest category of the six-year CIP budget, totaling just over $87 million. The total CIP budget for FY 2023 is $51.7 million.