Thursday, May 31, 2012
Members turn down Fox attempt to lessen 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. "This year's adopted budget is lean," Council member Courtney Watson said in an email, "But preserves funding to the areas that preserve the high quality of life in Howard County including to education and public safety." 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 …
Friday, April 20, 2012
Local lawmakers react to the state budget.
County Council members told state representatives this week that Maryland's so-called “doomsday budget” concerns them and has put them in a holding pattern. The state's budget, effective July 1, would create budget cuts at the county level across the state, including $9 million in Howard County. However, state lawmakers attending the Howard County Chamber of Commerce's legislative wrap-up this week said that they anticipated a revised budget plan would be submitted in a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks. While a revised state budget may be coming, Howard County Del. James Malone said that counties are faced with doing double-duty in their own budget-planning. “Every municipality and every county as we speak are …
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
The county executive released his FY 2013 capital budget proposal on Friday.
With a doomsday budget that would result in a 1 percent cut in Howard County's state aid, citizens aren't sure where services will be trimmed. They will have a better idea by Friday, when the county executive will release his operating budget proposal for FY 2013, according to The Baltimore Sun. This week, Ulman told The Baltimore Sun that he and his staff were "'still going through budget deliberations'" before rolling out the operating budget proposal he must present to the County Council by April 21. Ulman released his $175.25 million capital budget proposal March 30, which was $2.75 million less than the FY 2012 approved capital budget; last month, Ulman stated that his plans involve investing in "key infrastructure" like road …
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Howard County hopes to avoid a "horrible situation" with growth in income tax revenue.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
A public hearing tonight gives residents a chance to express their hopes for FY13.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Where would you like to see funding increased or decreased in the FY13 budget? Let the county know tonight at the budget hearing, scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Banneker Room at the George Howard Building. You can submit testimony or sign up online to testify. If you want to testify, you can also sign up in-person starting at 6:30 p.m. The hearing starts at 7:30 p.m. As of Tuesday evening, less than 10 people had signed up to testify, according to County Spokesman Kevin Enright, and all were slated to speak about funding related to education and the library system. Howard County is required to balance its budget, which runs on a July 1 – June 30 fiscal year. County Executive Ken Ulman will present a proposed budget to the County …
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
There are no proposed property tax increases, but residents could face more in water and sewer fees.
In a time of economic recovery, the proposed Howard County operating budget includes increases to one of the top ranked school districts in the state, and for the first time in several years, more county money to the community college system. This year’s general fund budget is $870.8 million, up 5.6 percent from last year, according to county officials. The total budget proposal is $1.6 billion. The increases were made possible by county savings accrued in past years and the fact that county income tax receipts are netting more tax dollars, said Howard County budget director Ray Wacks. “We believe that whether it’s more jobs, or better pay, or the kind of jobs people have, our income tax receipts seem to be improving faster than in some …
Friday, April 15, 2011
Council members want the county to seek speed control strategies beyond speed cameras.
Howard County department heads faced hours of stern questioning from the county council Thursday on the proposed $179 million of spending in the FY12 capital budget. The Department of Public Works fielded much of the scrutiny after County Executive Ken Ulman highlighted stormwater management and infrastructure improvements as some of the most important additions to the FY 2012 budget, alongside education. Speed Control The issue of speeding in communities and school zones drew a lot of discussion as the county considers speed cameras as a possible remedy to what Councilwoman Courtney Watson called “the number one complaint from citizens in the county.” The proposed FY 2012 spending budget for intersection improvements, which includes speed…
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The budget director says the clear focus is education and environment.
Howard County budget director Ray Wacks told the county council Tuesday night that the focus of spending in the $179.3 million capital budget is on schools and stormwater projects. The proposed budget is about $31 million trimmer than the FY 2011 budget, which was approved at $210.4 million last year. Although a hearing on the budget was not specifically about educational budgets, Wacks noted that $70 million is going to public schools and another $30 million to Howard Community College. “The focus of this capital budget is clear this year, and it’s a focus on the environment and on schools,” Wacks said. For the past three years, the capital budget for public schools has hovered around $70 million. Wacks said expenditures would allow for …