Sykesville panel urges expense cuts SOUTHEAST -- Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

March 17, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Sykesville's budget committee would cut expenses rather than raise taxes to meet increases in liability and health insurance and provide a small cost-of-living raise for employees.

The four-member committee recommended holding the town tax rate to the present 82 cents for fiscal 1993-1994.

"Our goal was no tax increase," said Town Manager and committee member James L. Schumacher. "In a recession, people don't have the money to pay for an increase. The town either gets the revenue from another source or cuts expenses."

Besides property taxes, Sykesville's only other significant revenue source is the state. The town will realize an increase of about $30,000 from state property tax revenue in the fiscal year that begins July 1, said Mr. Schumacher.

"We will receive about $320,000 this year, for about a 12 percent increase," he said. "But that's a double-edged sword. We also have more property owners to serve."

The owner of an average $134,000 home would pay $440 in town taxes in addition to $1,260 in county property taxes.

The committee, which includes Clerk-Treasurer Vincent Diffenbaugh, Mayor Lloyd Helt and Councilman Kenneth Clark, opted to cut expenses in every municipal department by 5 percent to 10 percent, he said.

"From office to maintenance, there were no increases of any kind over last year's figures, and we cut every department across the board," he said.

The budget contains a 3 percent raise for the town's 16 full-time employees -- their first raise in two years. The committee also set aside money to hire an additional police officer for the five-man department.

A budget workshop will precede the council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Town House. Residents may comment at a public hearing at 7 p.m. April 12 at the same location.

Council members will vote on the proposal after the hearing. If adopted, the budget takes effect 20 days from the vote.

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