In a bipartisan vote, the Anne Arundel County Council approved County Executive Steuart Pittman’s fiscal 2023 budget, including taxpayer savings alongside record investments in education, public safety, and parks.
The fiscal 2023 budget includes a tax cut that lowers the income tax rate on the first $50,000 of taxable income for every taxpayer while setting the property tax rate further below the cap than ever in the County’s history. In addition, the budget will grow the County’s rainy day fund while reducing borrowing and eliminating the structural deficit created during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This budget moves us forward by making significant investments in our public employees such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters when hiring has become more challenging in nearly all sectors,” District 6 Council Member and Council Chair Lisa Rodiven said. “We are investing in public transit and making our buses fare-free. In addition, we have included new mechanisms to increase the availability of housing that is affordable and accomplish all of these priorities while maintaining the lowest property and income tax in our region.
The budget fully funds the Board of Education’s capital budget request for the first time in county history while restoring step increases and fully funding the Board’s request for pay increases for all teachers and staff. In addition, through supplemental amendments, the County will provide funding for hiring and retention bonuses for school bus drivers and crossing guards, as well as one-time pay equity funding for Anne Arundel Community College.
“This budget provides a balanced approach and needed investment in our schools, infrastructure, and public safety,” District 4 Council Member and Council Vice Chair Andrew Pruski said. “The County Council came together with the County Executive to pass a budget that helps Anne Arundel invest in our future.”
The budget will fully fund the County’s obligations under the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future while setting a new Anne Arundel County record of providing $50 million more than the state maintenance of effort requirement.
The budget provides money for designing and constructing a new 9-1-1 Center, which will combine police and fire 9-1-1 specialists into a single, unified operation under the Office of Emergency Management. In addition, to support public safety efforts, the budget will replace the dilapidated firing range while funding a new forensics facility, a new special operations facility, and 55 new vehicles for officers.
“This budget provides a fiscally responsible approach to providing government services – cutting taxes while making sure our police and firefighters have the tools they need to keep us safe,” District 3 Council Member Nathan Volke said.
The budget includes two new parks – Tanyard Springs and South Shore – alongside significant investments in Bacon Ridge at Forney, Odenton Library Park, Deale, and the new Brooklyn Park Center, plus water access site improvements totaling $7.8 million in investments. The budget also provides $3.5 million to restore a building on the future Crownsville Hospital Memorial Park campus, allowing the building to become the Crownsville Health and Wellness Center. This incubator will house emerging nonprofits, offer services to residents of the treatment centers operating nearby, and be a temporary home for the county team that will manage the restoration of the site.
“District 2 benefits from investment in roads and parks and especially in school construction with the Old Mill Complex Master Plan underway,” District 2 Council Member Allison Pickard said. This budget also represents a critical investment in our County employees to ensure we can deliver fundamental County services.”