Frederick faces tough choices on its budget
Posted: February 14, 2013
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Frederick County’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2014 aims to address salary increases for employees, provide responsible stewardship for county funds and maintain well-trained public safety personnel, while not raising taxes for residents.
County Administrator John R. Riley Jr. and Finance Director Cheryl Shiffler presented preliminary budget information — including what funding county departments are requesting and the amount of new revenue the county can expect to bring in — at Wednesday night’s Board of Supervisors work session.
The county is projected to have about $5.8 million more in revenue in the coming fiscal year than FY13, which would amount to a proposed budget of $133,024,407, according to Shiffler.
The budget for FY14 would — if each department was granted its full funding request — balloon to $157,976,563, according to information presented at the work session.
Riley called the proposed budget a challenge.
“There is no question about that, [but] we’re prepared to meet that challenge,” he said during the meeting.
The Board of Supervisors adopted Frederick County’s current $127,184,304 budget April 11. That spending plan was an increase of $1,334,366 over the previous fiscal year’s $125,849,938 budget.
The FY14 budget, with all the departments getting what they asked for, would represent a $30,792,259 increase from the current one.
On May 9, the board voted to amend the real estate tax rate for the current year from 541⁄2 cents per $100 of value to 58 cents.
Of the $5.8 million in increased revenue, $3 million is coming from the tax increase, with the other $2.8 million generated by additional sales, meals and personal property taxes, Shiffler said following the work session.
Supervisors said they were pleased the county will not have to raise taxes for its FY14 budget.
County staff and supervisors will have to go over departments’ budget requests in the coming weeks and determine which ones can be accommodated, Shiffler said.
The Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the budget sometime in April.
Attending the work session in the Frederick County Administration Building were Chairman Richard Shickle, co-chairman Bill Ewing and supervisors Charles DeHaven Jr., Gary Lofton, Gene Fisher and Christopher Collins.
— Contact Matt Armstrongat email@example.com