Council Passes Budget, Keeps Fire Tax Hike
Members turn down Fox attempt to lower the amount of the fire tax increase.
The Howard County Council Thursday approved the county administration's expense and operating budgets for FY 2013, adopting eight amendments but rejecting a bid by Council member Greg Fox to cut the fire tax.
Fox’s amendment would have lowered the proposed unified fire district’s tax rate of 17.6 cents per $100 of assessed value to 14.25 cents.
Previously, the metropolitan district paid 13.55 cents per $100 and the rural district 11.55 cents.
Last week, Fox, the Council’s only Republican, told the Howard County Times he might vote to approve the budget. “There's a chance I might actually go for it this year,” he said, “Other than the fire tax increase."
The fire tax increase will fund 42 additional positions in the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, some of which will staff the planned Glenwood Station in western Howard County. The money also will provide two additional paramedic units in the county.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, County Executive Ken Ulman said he appreciated the Council's work on the budget. "I am pleased that they agreed with the decisions the administration has made" on education and public safety funding, he said.