The Frederick County Commissioners' proposed fiscal year 2015 budget is expected to be released to the public during their Tuesday, April 15th worksession. It totals more than $518-million dollars, which is less than a 1% increase from the current spending plan.
Commissioners' President Blaine Young says it sets aside seven-and-a-half million dollars for a merit pay and cost of living increase for employees. There's also funding for five additional deputies. "And there's an increase in the Department of Aging's budget to about 17%, as we want to make sure we're taking care of our seniors, especially those aging in place," he says. "And there's a proposal to expand the senior property tax credit."
With pay increases coming for county employees, public school teachers may ask where's their pay raise. "Well, they need to talk to the people in charge and that's their elected school board," Young responds.
In February, the Board of Education submitted a proposed fiscal year 2015 budget request totaling more than $548-million, which is a 3.1% increase over the current spending plan. Panel members say the maintenance of effort funding the school system has been receiving for the past few years isn't cutting it.
But Commissioner Young says the school system may not get what it wants. "The Board of Education asked for about an additional $34-million dollars over and above what they would get with maintenance of effort from the county," he says. "The money's just not there. People need to realize that if you want to create the money, you need to make some tough decisions."
Young also says he would like the public to suggest where they would like to cut to meet these budget requests. "If you have an alternative solution to tell us where to come up with the money, the reoccurring money that they're talking about, please make it. And I've heard nothing but crickets."
He also notes that any proposal to raise taxes will not be considered. "And I don't think that that's palatable for our taxpayers, and I don't think our taxpayers would support raising taxes to fund their requests," he says.
The County Commissioners will hold a hearing on their budget on Tuesday, May 6th at Oakdale High beginning at 6:00 PM.