The county executive’s office has released its proposed operating budget for 2013–a $40 million increase over last year’s budget.
Of the $1.54 budget, $898.8 million comes from the general fund, monies collected primarily from property and income taxes, along with other taxes and fees.
The budget includes $878.2 million for education, which includes funding for the Howard County Public School System, the Howard County Library System and Howard Community College.
The education budget is about 57 percent of the total operating budget, and a 3.9 percent increase from last year. Last year’s education budget, about $845.6 million, was a 5 percent increase over 2011.
Included in the education portion of the budget is $9.8 million to cover half of the cost of teacher pensions, which “this budget assumes … will be ultimately be adopted,” according to text of the document.
A larger percent of this year’s operating budget comes from property taxes – about $526.1 million dollars, versus $502.5 million last year. The income tax portion of the general fund also increased by just under 4.5 percent. The rate, $1.014
The one tax increase proposed in the budget is the fire and rescue tax, a tax on property values that funds fire and rescue services. In April, the County Council approved a consolidation of the metropolitan and rural fire districts.
Previously, the metropolitan district paid $0.1355 per $100 of assessed property value and the rural district paid $0.1155.
The new, consolidated fire district pays $0.176 per $100 of assessed property value.
The county has budgeted for 42 Fire and Rescue positions which will staff a new Glenwood Station in Western Howard County.
In addition, 60 jobs will not be filled this year, a move that will generate $3.2 million in savings, according to Ulman.
Find the full text of the budget attached, or view it on the Howard County Government website.