The following is an op-ed piece from Councilman David Marks…
In April, County Executive Johnny Olszewski unveiled his Fiscal Year 2021 budget plan, which can be seen here. The budget proposal was shaped largely by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Baltimore County’s revenue has dropped by at least $40 million since the start of the shutdown.
Since the budget was announced, there have been many comments on social media about a rumored property tax rate increase. Let me be clear: there is no property tax rate change in the proposed budget. The property tax rate has not been raised in two decades. The amount you might pay depends upon assessments done by the state, not Baltimore County.
The three Republicans on the Council tried cutting the property tax rate in 2018. The Republicans opposed the income tax rate increase in 2019, and supported more than $40 million in cuts. Had the Council accepted the $40 million in cuts, the amount of the income tax increase for Fiscal Year 2020 could have been eliminated.
During this year’s budget process, I promise we will be as critical as we were before. I have made specific requests to our Auditors as they scour the County Executive’s proposal. During tough times, we should prioritize public safety, education, infrastructure, and those services most needed by our most vulnerable–and those projects that lay the foundation for future growth.
– Councilman David Marks