The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners are proposing a fully-balanced $183.6 million operating budget that meets the Board of Education’s funding request, a $4.8 million increase over the current year’s budget, and $6 million over maintenance of effort. The proposed operating budget, a 7.1 percent increase over the fiscal 2023 budget, also makes critical investments and bolsters essential services like public safety, health, and maintaining infrastructure.
“All Maryland counties are facing increases in school funding over the next several years resulting from directives to increase minimum salaries for teachers prescribed by the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, said the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners. “Our commitment and prior contributions leave Queen Anne’s County well-positioned to continue to support our outstanding public education system.”
Under the proposed budget, the County’s property and income tax rates are unchanged, at $0.8300 per $100 and 3.2 percent, respectively.
As proposed in the capital budget, the County plans to invest $6.4 million in Board of Education projects, including a new Central Office and additional funding for the Kent Island High School roof replacement. In addition, the proposed capital budget includes $6.4 million for various roads projects, $1 million for the Historic Courthouse renovations, $12.5 million to expand the Detention Center, $3.2 million for parks projects, $5.4 million for the Southern Kent Island sewer project, $3.5 million for the sanitary water meter replacement project, and $500 thousand for public landings projects.
According to Queen Anne’s County:
Additional public improvements and programs have been completed over this past year. These include: the addition of synthetic turf fields at Church Hill and Batts Neck parks, construction of a backup 911 center, adoption of the 2022 County Comprehensive Plan, expansion of broadband services, free/fareless transit services, reinvestment in our public housing stock and the launch of the trap, neuter & release program to manage feral cat population. These continuing initiatives accompany our robust infrastructure preservation program dedicated to our roads, public buildings and sewer and water utilities.
The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners will hold three public hearings on the proposed budget: May 22 at Bayside Elementary School, May 23 at the Liberty Building in Centreville, and May 24 at Sudlersville Middle School. Each hearing will commence at 7:00 pm with a brief presentation and an opportunity for public comments. The Commissioners plan to adopt the fiscal 2024 budget on or before June 13.