Budget Session


The Fiscal Year 2024 budget is underway and under discussion by the Anne Arundel County Council.

Revenue highlights, as presented by the administration, are as follows:

  • Raising revenue reserve fund (rainy day fund) from 7% to 8%
  • Increased property tax (increase range of $117.50 to $423)
  • Increased income tax for single filers with an income over $400,000
  • Increased income tax for joint filers with an income over $480,000
  • New ride share fee
  • Increased recordation and transfer tax on the full value of homes sales over $1 million, from 1% to 1.5% (for a home purchased for $1.3 million, the transfer tax would go from $13,000 to $19,500 or an increase of $6,500)

Investment highlights as presented by the administration:

  • $45 million above state required funding for Anne Arundel County Public Schools
  • Additional police and fire personnel
  • Increased funding for eviction prevention, food programs, crisis response
  • 72 new county positions
  • At least a 5% cost of living (COLA) increase for county employees
  • Merit/step pay for all county employees
  • 5% COLA for all contract workers

The Anne Arundel County Council concluded departmental budget hearings and public budget hearings at the end of May. This was an opportunity to hear from each department on why they have increased funding or requests for their department. It was also an opportunity to hear directly from residents.

There are a few more steps in the budget process before the council votes on the proposed budget on June 14.

On May 30, the council heard from the county auditor. The county auditor and the audit staff comb through the entire budget to identify errors, excessive spending requests based on historical data, or other potential areas where there is not sufficient support for increased funding. The auditor presented recommended amendments to the budget. After a brief recess, the council heard the administration’s rebuttal to the auditor's recommendations.

The county council will convene again for the budget on June 6, amendment day. This small break is for each council member to consider the auditors’ recommendations and the administration’s rebuttal. The council historically amends the budget based on auditor recommendations that the administration agrees with. For the recommendations that the administration disagrees with, it is up to individual council members to decide if they would like to pursue those recommendations with additional proposed amendments.

I have historically supported most, if not all, of the auditors' recommendations that the administration disagrees with, because I have found the support to be solid and fiscally responsible.

Councilmembers will also have an opportunity to present amendments to the budget that were not in the auditors' recommendations. In the past, I have proposed cuts that I have felt could either wait for a future year or were not the best use of taxpayer dollars. I think of this budget not as a large pot of money to do whatever I wish with, but rather as the money that every family in our county has worked hard for. As a working wife and mother, I am keenly aware of what it is like to be part of a working family in our county.

It is important to note that the county council can only cut the budget. We cannot add to what has been proposed by the county executive — with one exception. The county council does have the authority to add to the Board of Education budget, but we may not add any funding that was not requested in the school system’s proposed budget.

At the conclusion of amendment day, there will be cuts to the budget that can be handled in three ways. If there are enough spending cuts to reduce the tax rate or eliminate fees, the administration can work with the council to propose such a change. Another option is that proposed cuts can be reallocated to other areas of the budget through a supplemental budget, brought forward by the administration. These are areas that are usually of interest to council members but were not funded in the original budget proposal. This tends to be the historical approach.

The final option would be a combination of the two — but highly unlikely.

The council is scheduled to consider a supplementary budget on June 7.

Your thoughts on the proposed budget are still welcome. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or feedback as we move through this important process.

On June 14, the county council will meet to vote on the entire budget, both capital and operating. The new fiscal year will begin on July 1.

Our regular legislative meetings will also continue during this time with non-budget related bills.

If you would like to stay in the know and receive my newsletter related to county legislation and pertinent events, or have a constituent matter, you can reach me at amanda.fiedler@aacounty.org.

You can also visit the county council website for information: www.aacounty.org/departments/county-council.


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