County invites public comment on $263 million budget proposal

May 09, 2006|by TARA REILLY


Residents will have the chance to comment on Washington County's proposed $263 million budget for fiscal year 2007 tonight at Hagerstown Community College.

The tentative budget consists of a $177.9 million operating budget and an $85.7 million capital budget.

The capital budget, known as the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), includes proposed construction and improvement projects related to schools, roads and bridges.

The County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the total budget tonight at 7 at HCC's Kepler Theater.

The commissioners are not proposing a property tax rate increase for the coming fiscal year.

The proposed operating budget allocates $95.5 million for education, the largest expense in the budget.

Of that amount, $83.3 million would go to the Board of Education and $6.9 million would go to HCC.

The remaining education dollars are proposed for school nurses, the Maryland School for the Blind and Washington County Free Library.


The proposed budget also includes raises for 170 uniformed personnel in the Washington County Sheriff's Department, including Detention Center correctional officers. The raises range from about $2,600 to nearly $20,000.

The pay hikes will cost $931,787 in fiscal year 2007, which begins July 1.

The Sheriff's Department's proposed budget is $18 million, $2.4 million more than the current fiscal year's budget.

The county anticipates receiving $87 million in real estate tax revenue in fiscal year 2007, a $10.7 million increase over the current fiscal year's budget.

The county also has budgeted $70.7 million in local taxes, $4.6 million more than the current budget.

Much of the local tax revenue comes from income taxes.

The county anticipates receiving $60 million in income tax revenue in fiscal year 2007, or $3.57 million more than the $56.43 million budgeted for the current fiscal year.

If you go

What: Washington County Commissioners' public hearing on fiscal year 2007 budget

When: Today, 7 p.m.

Where: Kepler Theater, Hagerstown Community College

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