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FY 2018 Budget Message
June 1, 2017
Dear Allegany County Residents,
Our fiscal year operating budget summarizes the goals of our Board of County Commissioners. Our Board believes this budget is equitable and realistic given our county’s projected revenues for FY 2018. Our Board has worked very hard to maintain a strong financial position. The taxpayers deserve this of their government.
FY 2018 total general fund expenditures are $86,897,607. This represents an increase of 0.74%, or $635,129. There are no tax increases. There is also a small decrease of 1/10th of one cent in the real property tax rate which decreases it to $0.9760. Allegany County’s real property tax rate ranked tenth lowest of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions in FY 2017.
The county has three primary sources of revenue: real estate (property) tax - $41,159,859 (47.38% of all revenue), income tax - $26,649,213 (30.67% of all revenue), and a state disparity grant - $8,930,611 (10.28% of all revenue - $1,632,106 of the state disparity grant is given to the Board of Education for teachers’ pensions). Both the real estate tax and the income tax are projected to decrease in FY 2018.
Education remains the county’s single highest funding priority: 43.79% of the county’s general fund expenditures are dedicated to the Allegany County Board of Education and our community college, Allegany College of Maryland.
Allegany County Government has increased the appropriation to the Board of Education ($254,323, 0.84%) to $30,424,308. In addition, $1,510,084 is paid for debt service for Board of Education capital projects by the Board of County Commissioners.
Public safety receives 20.67% of every tax dollar. Public safety includes the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services, the Sheriff’s Office and Road Patrol, and the Allegany County Detention Center. Fire companies will receive an additional appropriation of $76,093.
It is important to emphasize that Allegany County Government pays for numerous services which are not provided by any of the county’s municipalities. There are 27 services which receive $61,176,669 of the $86,897,607 total operating budget, 70.40% of it, in FY 2018. The major appropriations are for K-12 public education, support for Allegany College of Maryland, the detention center, 911, the State’s Attorney Office, and the health department.
Our Board has achieved our self-initiated $3.0 M goal as the county’s maximum annual debt service commitment. There is a small decrease to $2,935,594 in FY 2018. Over half of the FY 2018 debt service is due to Board of Education capital projects (51.44%, $1,510,084).
Allegany County will need to rely upon its fund balance to provide a balanced budget in FY 2018. Allegany County Government continues to maintain two months of general fund revenue as fund balance and remains in compliance with the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and the Government Accounting Standard Board (GASB) Statement Number 54. Driving the need to rely upon our fund balance is the rising cost of health care that is impacting budgets for both the public and private sectors.
The FY 2018 operating budget is accompanied by the FY 2018 – FY 2022 capital improvement program budget. This pertains to capital projects – defined as those projects which cost $25,000 or more and which have a life expectancy of 10 or more years. FY 2018 capital projects total $14,945,339. The major projects are Allegany High School and the Allegany College of Maryland Technologies Building.
Our Board is pleased to report that all departments aggressively pursue and secure federal, state, and private foundation grants which help to offset costs for the local taxpayers. Furthermore, all management team members and department heads operate within their authorized budgets.
Our Board is proud of the budget that we have carefully and strategically developed and will continue to work hard to be steadfast stewards of all our tax dollars.
Allegany County Government’s FY 2018 operating budget and the FY 2018 –FY 2022 capital improvement program budget are presented on the website, www.alleganygov.org.
The Board of County Commissioners
Jacob C. Shade, President
Creade V. Brodie, Jr., Commissioner
William R. Valentine, Commissioner