A virtual public hearing will be held on the proposed budget on Tuesday, May 5, at 6 p.m

News Release, Charles County Public Information Office

On Wednesday, April 29, County Administrator Mark Belton and budget staff presented the county’s proposed fiscal year 2021 budget to the Board of County Commissioners The total proposed operating budget is $433,441,200, an increase of 2% over last year. The proposed budget will protect County Government core services, exceeds maintenance of effort funding for Charles County Public Schools and preserve necessary operations for the Sheriff’s Office.

“The proposed budget balances short-term needs with long-term priorities, but there is no doubt that difficult choices were made during this process,” stated Administrator Belton. “This approach was vital for maintaining the current tax rate and protecting the county’s hard-earned triple-A bond rating.”

The budget outlook has changed since planning began last fall. While revenue growth in property taxes has been stable, economic stability is more fragile due to the closure of all non-essential businesses and significant unemployment that has occurred during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.

The proposed budget does include the addition of 10 positions for Advanced Life Support (ALS) providers in Waldorf because data shows that our community needs it to ensure adequate emergency services. To address the shortfall in revenue, the county did not fully fund the budget requests from Charles County Public Schools and the Sheriff’s Office, which comprises approximately 71 percent of the budget. The county’s executive leadership team also identified several internal government efficiencies to reduce expenditures in next year’s proposed budget.

Commissioners will consider the proposed operating and capital budgets and may make changes before it is scheduled for adoption on Tuesday, May 19. A virtual public hearing will be held on the proposed budget on Tuesday, May 5, at 6 p.m. The public may comment on the proposed budget during the hearing, through an online comment form, by phone message or by mail. Instructions for participating are available on the website at www.charlescountymd.gov.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...