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Garrett County Commissioners Adopt $80 Million Budget 

Last Updated on Jun 21, 2018 at 9:30am | Economic Development
Article courtesy of NCWV Media - The Republican. Staff Writer: Renee Shreve. Photo Credit: Renee Shreve.
The Garrett County commissioners approved the new budget and tax rates during their public meeting Tuesday evening in Bloomington.
“The fiscal year 2019 operating and capital budget comes to $80,307,588,” Commissioner Paul Edwards said.
The commissioners also decreased the real property tax rate from $.990 per $100 of assessed value down to the constant yield rate.
“In order to fully offset the effect of increasing assessments, the real property tax rate should be decreased to $.9899 countywide, excluding the municipality of Mountain Lake Park,” Edwards said. “The county will maintain the constant yield tax rate and decrease the property tax rate to $.9899.”
Mountain Lake Park’s rate will be $.9241 per $100 of assessment because of a county tax differential.
Edwards noted there will be no change in the current public utilities tax rate, which is $2.4748 per $100 of assessment countywide, excluding Mountain Lake Park. For that town’s residents, the rate will be $2.3103.
The ad valorem tax rate (per $100 of assessed value) for Garrett County Sanitary District Inc. customers in FY 2019 will be as follows:
• Bloomington Sanitary District, $0.14
• Chestnut Ridge Sewer District, $0.21
• Deep Creek Lake Water District, $0.10
• Deep Creek Sewer Sanitary District, $0.09
• Deer Park Water and Sewer Sanitary Districts, $0.15
• Friendsville Sanitary District, $0.09
• Jennings Sewer Sanitary District, $0.17
• Keyser’s Ridge Water Sanitary District $0.24
• Meadow Mountain Sewer Sanitary District, $0.07
• Mountain Lake Park/Loch Lynn Water Sanitary District, $0.05
• Mountain Lake Park/Loch Lynn Sewer Sanitary District, $0.04
The commissioners signed Resolution 2018–4, officially adopting the tax rates and budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
“The budget is probably the most important thing that the commissioners do,” Edwards said. “It’s always very challenging because there’s always a lot of people who want a lot of stuff and funding for different things.”
For example, he noted, the county had to hire several emergency medical services personnel last year because of the decrease in volunteers at rescue squads.
In addition, the schools are always in need of more money.
“We fund the schools through a formula, and that formula typically increases every year,” Edwards said. “So it’s always a challenge.”
He noted the commissioners were able to get through the budget process once again without increasing any taxes.
“We’re very proud of that,” Edwards said.
Education (public schools, Garrett College, Ruth Enlow Library and the county’s scholarship program) makes up the largest expenditure, 42.47 percent, of the new budget at nearly $34.1 million.
Public works accounts for 20 percent of the budget at nearly $16 million.
The rest of the expenditures are as follows:
• Public safety, $12.1 million
• General government, $6.3 million
• Capital, $3.4 million
• Miscellaneous, $2.8 million
• Community health, $2.0 million
• Economic opportunity, $1.7 million
• Economic development $1.6 million
• Public service, $227,299
• Park, recreation and culture, $75,500
The commissioners’ next public meeting is scheduled for July 17 at 6 p.m. at the Swanton Community Center.