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“Nationals October 2019

Anne Arundel County Councilman Volke calls for Council pay freeze

| May 04, 2020, 04:50 PM

With the County FY21 budget being finalized, the Republican Caucus of the Anne Arundel County Council – Councilman Nathan Volke and Councilwomen Amanda Fiedler and Jessica Haire – joined together to identify key priorities including:

  • Pay freezes for Council members
  • Increase the maximum revenues to the Rainy Day Fund from 5% of revenues to 10%
  • Decrease the tax burden

Given the new economic realities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, no one in the county has been unaffected by the national economy’s significant losses. Thousands of county residents have been furloughed, laid off or seen their pay reduced. Nearly everyone is being forced to adjust spending for their households and businesses. Members of the County Council are currently scheduled to receive contractual pay increases each year from 2018 to 2022. However, the Council’s GOP members cannot agree to accept a pay raise in a time when so many of our citizens are hurting economically.

Liquified Creative Annapolis

The Council GOP also called for an increase to the county’s Revenue Reserve Fund (a.k.a. The Rainy Day fund). Currently, County law only allows that up to 5% of revenues can be put into the Rainy Day fund. New legislation being proposed by the Council GOP would raise that maximum amount to 10% of revenues. When the County’s annual bond rating is re-evaluated each year, one concern that is often raised is the lack of substantial reserve funds. During the last recession, the County depleted the Rainy Day fund. In years since, the fund has returned to almost the maximum allowed by county law. However, the economic uncertainty over the next few years demands that the County prepare for hard times. Increasing the amount that can be placed in the Rainy Day Fund will best position the County to be on strong financial footing for the new post-COVID-19 economic realities.

In addition, with so many families struggling, the Council’s GOP members are calling for a decrease in the tax burden for Anne Arundel County families. The property tax affects all citizens of Anne Arundel County – whether working, retired or disabled. The County Executive opted to override the voter-imposed income tax cap in his FY20 budget. And the County Executive has suggested that he may look to raise taxes again, as part of a road to recovery. The County Executive’s tax to recover plan ignores the very real economic concerns of citizens and business owners in Anne Arundel County. The Council GOP categorically rejects any efforts to raise taxes in the budget and urges the County Executive to decrease the tax burden on our citizens.

Severn Bank

Category: Local News, NEWS

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