By the time 230am rolled around this morning, the Annapolis City Council had exhausted more than 100 amendments to the Mayor’s budget and hashed out their differences and slashed the spending to agree on a budget. And it will cost the average homeowner in the City an additional $368 per year. Granted, that is a lot better than the $550 as initially proposed. But as the Mayor put it in his State of the City speech, it is only $1.01 per day.
While the council gnashed teeth on the minutiae of the budget, the lion’s share of the increased spending is in the form of additional taxes. Yes, they spent nearly a half hour arguing if the law office needed $1000 in copy expenses. At one point, the law office, while trying to retain the budget they submitted said that they were the only department whose expenses were not known and dependent on the needs of the other departments. The second part is true, but it could be argued that the police or fire departments do not know about the next emergency and the public works department does not know about the next water main break or hurricane. In the end, it came down as expected.
The Mayor initially submitted a $120M budget (last year was $111M) and a $9M increase in taxes. In the end, the budget was pared to $117M with $6M of it from the property tax increase.
The budget passed 6-3 with Aldermen Paone, Finlayson and Arnett voting against.