Carroll budget freezes tax rate $130 million plan offers 3% raises to school workers

May 28, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Carroll's commissioners unanimously adopted a $130 million operating budget yesterday for the next fiscal year that includes raises for full-time employees but does not change the property tax rate.

The commissioners voted on the budget at a 15-minute meeting at the County Office Building.

The adopted budget is $130,246,305, or $148,785 more than the proposed budget, which was presented at a public hearing May 13 at Westminster High School.

About 60 people attended the May 13 public hearing, 11 of whom spoke. Some thanked the commissioners for persevering during a lean economic year. Others offered criticism and said property taxes should be lowered.

Slightly over half of Carroll's revenue -- 50.4 percent -- comes from property taxes. Under the adopted budget, the property tax rate will remain at $2.35 per $100 of assessed valuation. The rate has not changed since 1990.

The county will collect $4 million -- 6.6 percent -- more at that rate in fiscal 1994 because tax assessments and the tax base have increased. To offset the increased assessments, the property tax rate would have to be lowered to $2.20.

Under the budget, school employees will receive 3 percent raises in each of the next two years.

Full-time county employees will receive $1,000 across-the-board raises in the next year.

The county's fiscal 1994 operating budget is 8.9 percent higher than the current year's budget of $120 million. This means the county will have $10.5 million more to spend.

Last week, the commissioners agreed to three additions to the budget. They voted to pay $20,000 to help Human Services Programs operate a family shelter and $28,785 to hire a legal secretary in the state's attorney's office.

The $48,785 will come from an estimated 0.13 percent increase in income tax collected by the county, Budget Director Steven D. Powell said.

The commissioners also agreed to give Carroll Community College $100,000 more in fiscal 1994, which begins July 1. The $100,000 was collected by the college as tuition in the current year. College officials asked that the county return it to the college to be spent in fiscal 1994, Mr. Powell said.

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