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County Council Passes Pittman’s $1.8B Budget

| June 14, 2021, 08:10 PM

The Anne Arundel County Council passed County Executive Steuart Pittman’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget in a 4-3 vote today, marking the end of a process that included a series of seven virtual town halls where residents offered input on the budget’s construction. Councilmembers Sarah Lacey, Allison Pickard, Andrew Pruski, and Lisa Rodvien voted in support of keeping taxes low while providing funding for key projects and programs favored by residents throughout the county, meeting their legal obligation to pass a budget by June 15.

“This year’s budget puts us back on track, helping us achieve four basic goals for our residents: restore trust in government, create economic opportunity for all, implement smart growth policies, and promote health and wellness,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said. “Our path to this budget was thoughtful and deliberate. We listened carefully to residents, departments, and financial experts, and created a budget that is fiscally responsible and fair.

The final budget keeps the County’s income tax rate at 2.81%, the lowest in the Central Maryland region, and lowers property taxes slightly while paying $11 million into the rainy day fund and bringing the capital budget’s debt affordability back below zero after skyrocketing during the prior administration.

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“I want to thank Councilmembers Lacey, Pickard, Pruski, and Rodvien for their support of our police officers and firefighters, our teachers and students, our parks and our land. Their thoughtful collaboration and input helped shape this budget, and delivers a fiscally responsible future for Anne Arundel County.”

Councilmembers Lacey, Pickard, Pruski, and Rodvien voted in favor of the County Executive’s support of key public safety initiatives such as expanding the County’s Crisis Intervention Team and constructing new Evidence & Forensics and Special Operations Facilities. The budget also provides additional staffing support for the Fire Department, including training 42 new paramedics and funding for the land acquisition of the Fire Training Academy.

“As the senior member of the County Council, this year’s budget can be seen as a sound fiscal budget that addresses immediate needs – including public safety and education – as well as long-term liabilities such as retirement benefits,” Councilman Andrew Pruski said.

Councilmembers Lacey, Pickard, Pruski, and Rodvien voted to support the County Executive’s proposal to add 53 new positions in the school system while delivering on a full step increase and an $8 million back step investment for teachers, ensuring support for Anne Arundel County’s teachers and students.

“This budget meets the needs we have now, while responsibly preparing us for coming years – and without raising taxes. It’s a win-win,” Councilwoman Sarah Lacey said.

Councilmembers Lacey, Pickard, Pruski, and Rodvien voted for the County Executive’s plan to invest in parks and recreation. Initiatives supported in the budget include turning the idea of a county-wide trail network from concept to reality, increasing water access project funding, and taking the next steps with projects like the Brooklyn Park Athletic Complex, the new Deale Community Park, the design of the West County Swim Center, the Severn Center, the Stanton Center, and the Brooklyn Park Teen Center.

“This morning I was very pleased to vote in favor of the Fiscal Year 22 budget. This budget, along with the budgets of the previous two years, have put this county into a very good position including the ability to weather the economic effects of the pandemic. The story of what our budget is funding is an important one,” Councilwoman Allison Pickard said. “Investments for District 2 include school construction, recreation facility updates, nuisance flooding solutions, sidewalk connectivity funding and traffic engineering solutions. This list and the entire FY22 budget tells a positive narrative of the investment happening in our county.”

Councilmembers Lacey, Pickard, Pruski, and Rodvien voted for the County Executive’s plan to provide funding that protects the County’s natural resources, including seed money to implement the County’s new Resilience Authority and rebuilding the County’s reforestation fund.

“I am thrilled that we have been able to come out of a pandemic with such a strong budget. Some of my colleagues have criticized this budget, but we are still the county with the 4th lowest income tax in the state and the 7th lowest property tax. When I came to office, we had a $2 billion backlog in capital spending in our schools. We have made significant progress in updating our schools and replacing outmoded and crumbling buildings,” Councilwoman Lisa Rodvien said. “Investments in resources for our seniors and to improve and expand our public parks and water accesses are part of this budget. This budget makes great strides toward making our county the best place for all.”

For more information on Anne Arundel County’s FY 22 budget, click here.

Category: Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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