The Charles County Commissioners are considering a 2024 proposed budget of $525,258,100, an increase of 6.2 percent over the current fiscal year. The proposed budget invests in core programs and services while holding steady on income and property tax rates.
The operating budget includes increased support for public education, public safety, and county infrastructure improvements. In addition, it provides for merit and cost-of-living increases while embedding equity throughout the proposed budget to ensure improved outcomes for everyone in the community.
The proposed budget provides a $6.08 million increase for Charles County Public Schools, which fully funds the Charles County Board of Education’s request, exceeds maintenance of effort, and provides new funding associated with the Blueprint for Maryland’s future. The total allocation, including funding for the Charles County Public Library and College of Southern Maryland, is $234.94 million, or 44.8 percent of the operating budget.
In addition, the proposed budget provides a $12.73 million increase for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, with a total allocation of $120.72 million, or 23 percent of the operating budget. The allocation funds four new positions, including two new sworn officers, and funds have been added to pay for the body-worn camera program, which will be required by state law beginning July 1, 2025.
The proposed budget includes 88.88 million, or 16.9 percent of the operating budget, to add emergency medical technicians and enhance staffing in recreation services. In addition, this funding will bolster information technology, planning, public works, economic development, and support recruitment efforts in the human resources department.
$19.13 million, or 3.6 percent of the budget, is allocated to other government functions, including the State’s Attorney’s Office, Health Department, Circuit Court, Election Board, and other local government agencies.
The proposed fiscal year 2024-28 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget is $458.75 million. It provides infrastructure investments, including schools, buildings, roads, parks, water and sewer facilities, and stormwater management. A detailed summary of the CIP budget is located here, which includes capital funding to support the first school-based health center in Charles County at Indian Head Elementary School.
According to Charles County:
Public comments were received on the proposed constant yield tax rate and the proposed fiscal 2024 budget on Wed, Apr. 26. The record will be kept open until Friday, May 5, to receive comments on the proposed general fund and capital operating budgets and the constant yield tax rate. Commissioners will discuss additions and changes to the budget on May 9, and the Fiscal 2024 Budget is scheduled for final adoption on May 16. More information is available at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov.