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May 13, 2019 Garrett County Commissioners Public Work Session Summary

Last Updated on May 17, 2019 at 8:57am | Communications Office
 
The Board of Garrett County Commissioners held a public work session on the proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Garrett County Government Budget at the Garrett County Courthouse on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. Paul Edwards served as Chairman. The following items were discussed:
 
Public Work Session:
 
Scott Weeks, Director, Department of Financial Services, gave an update on the Fiscal Year 2020 Garrett County Government Budget. Summary of events is listed below:
  • Initially, as of May 8, 2019, the Fiscal Year 2020 requested budget had an approximate $10.5 million-dollar shortfall encompassing the following:
    • A projected fund revenue shortfall of approximately $1.8 million
    • A requested operating expense shortfall of approximately $2.8 million
    • A requested capital expense shortfall of approximately $5.9 million
  • As of the work session held on May 13, 2019, the Fiscal Year 2020, the requested budget was modified by trimming some expenses and deferring capital projects.
  • The current approximate budget shortfall has been reduced to $4.1 million-dollars encompassing the following:
    • A cut to operating expenses of $1.05 million
    • A cut to capital expenses of $5.35 million
  • Even with these cuts, there is still a proposed budget shortfall, and in Mr. Week’s opinion, there is no way to make up the gap without an increase to property taxes. “We need to increase revenue or we’re going to have to drastically cut services,” said Mr. Weeks.
  • Four options to bridge the projected shortfall (in no order) were presented:
     
    • Option 1: Increase property tax by $0.082 from $0.99 to $1.072
      • Estimated impact to owner-occupied households = $122/year
         
    • Option 2: Increase property tax by $0.056 from $0.99 to $1.046 and income tax from 2.65% to 2.95%
      • Estimated impact to owner-occupied households = $228/year
         
    • Option 3: Increase property tax by $0.04 from $0.99 to $1.03, income tax from 2.65% to 2.95%, and accommodations tax from 6% to 8%
      • Estimated impact to owner-occupied households = $204/year
         
    • Option 4: Increase property tax by $0.066 from $0.99 to $1.056 and accommodations tax from 6% to 8%
      • Estimated impact to owner-occupied households = $98/year
         
  • Public comments were not allowed.
The public is invited and encouraged to send comments and feedback to the Board of Garrett County Commissioners via the email address gccomments@garrettcounty.org, or by letter addressed to Board of Commissioners, 203 South Fourth Street, Oakland, MD 21550 by May 20, 2019.
 
More information can be found on view the Fiscal Year 2020 Garrett County Government Budget webpage at www.garrettcounty.org/budget2020.
 
The Board of Garrett County Commissioners next scheduled Public Meeting will be Monday, May 20, 2019 at the Garrett County Courthouse beginning at 4:00 p.m.