The Board of Charles County Commissioners unanimously adopted a balanced operating budget of $527,362,100, an increase of 6.7 percent over last year.
The approved budget does not increase the current property or income tax rate, fully funds public education, enhances investments in public safety, and finances necessary county infrastructure improvements. It also boosts employee compensation through merit and cost-of-living increases and a one-time take-home bonus of $500 for all full-time employees hired on or before June 30, 2023, to be given out before the end of 2023.
“The County’s budget reflects our commitment to equitably prioritizing funds that meet the needs of our community, including youth services, business expansion, and arts and entertainment,” said Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “It also demonstrates the high value we place on public schools, public safety, and the dedicated employees who deliver high-quality services to our residents and businesses.”
According to Charles County:
The General Fund budget funds the ongoing costs of government and includes:
- $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, which also includes funding for the Charles County Public Library and College of Southern Maryland, is $235.4 million, or 44.6 percent, of the General Fund budget.
- $13.3 million increase for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, with a total allocation of $121.3 million, or 23.0 percent of the General Fund budget. Four new positions are being funded, 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.
- $10.98 million increase for County Government operations. The total allocation is $89.7 million, or 17.0 percent, of the General Fund budget. New positions added to the budget include sixteen emergency medical technicians and two EMS supply technicians; increased staffing in recreation services, information technology, planning, public works and economic development; and a recruiter for the human resources department.
- A total allocation of $81.0 million, or 15.4 percent, for other government functions including the State’s Attorney’s Office, Health Department, Circuit Court, Election Board, other local government agencies, and debt service payments for bonds and capital asset financing for vehicles and equipment.
The fiscal year 2024-28 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget is $1.03 billion. It provides for county infrastructure, including schools, county buildings, roads, parks, water and sewer facilities, and stormwater management. A detailed summary of the CIP budget is located here.