Frederick County Council To Consider Budget Amendments Next Week

Final adoption is expected on May 21st.

Frederick, Md (KM) The next phase of drafting a fiscal year 2025 budget is before the Frederick County Council.

Last week, the Council heard from county agencies seeking additional funding than what was proposed in the spending plan put together by the County Executive.  Brad Young, Council President, said now it’s time for Council members to propose amendments to the budget. “Each of the Council members has the right to propose amendments to the budget which is to go through line-by-line and cut requested positions or supplies that particular departments are getting and the Council would vote on them individually,” he says.

Young says last year, the Council cut about $4 million from budget requests.

During the budget workshops last week, Young says the Council considered funding requests from county agencies. One of the  largest came from Frederick Community College which is seeking $2 million in additional funding. The County Executive is proposing $1.5 million in additional funding.    The School System is asking for $60 million over maintenance of effort, the amount the School System would receive to maintain its level of funding from the previous year. The County Executive has proposed $10 million over maintenance of effort.

“FCC pretty much is asking just for approval of the $1.5 million,”  Young says. “Obviously, FCPS is still lobbying that the Council consider increasing the school budget above and beyond what the County Executive proposed.”

The County Executive has also proposed a five-cent increase the property tax rate, setting it  at $1.11 per $100 of assessed value. “I’ve gotten some folks that have approached about the proposed tax increased to say ‘we don’t like it, but if that’s what it takes to improve our schools, we’re okay with,'” says Young. ” But I’ve gotten others who’ve expressed concerns that it will certainly impact their budget by increasing the taxes on their property for that.”

The additional revenue is expected to be used to pay for school construction and renovation projects.

A public hearing on the proposed property tax rate increase is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7th at Winchester Hall beginning at 7:00 PM.

Young also expects to see budget amendments to be presented next week, and on May 14th. He says the plan is to adopt the fiscal year 2025 budget by May 21st.  The new fiscal year begins on July 1st, 2024.

By Kevin McManus