The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners are holding a special meeting on the topic of How to Move the County Forward given projected budget deficits for the foreseeable future. The meeting will be held in the Commissioners Meeting Room at 6 p.m. Monday, August 13.
This year the state began moving the cost of teachers’ pensions onto the counties, and the percentage the counties will pay increases over three years until 100 percent of that burden is at the county level. The result of that and other rising expenses and decreased property and income tax revenues leaves Queen Anne’s County with projected budget deficits of $2.47 million for FY14; $7 million for FY 15, and $10.6 million for FY16.
“Based on our current projected deficits, the commissioners feel compelled to investigate every avenue for increasing revenue before discussing the possibility of raising taxes,” said County Administrator Gregg Todd. “Increasing the property tax base is an effective means of increasing revenue but it’s important to keep in mind that certain types of growth are more cost effective than others. That is what the commissioners hope to glean from these meetings; how best to enhance the tax base while still maintaining the quality of life that our citizens expect and deserve.”
Monday’s meeting will begin with commissioners setting goals on how future commission meetings will address the problem going forward. Then Budget and Finance Director Jonathon Seeman will give an overview of county revenue sources, potential new revenue per property tax section such as commercial and residential, and look at both revenue and expenses that are associated with growth.
Planning and Zoning Director Steven Cohoon will give an overview of areas where growth is permitted and state legislation that effects growth. He also will review the process and challenges of changing growth areas.