Council Meeting Monday, May 1st
FY2024 Budget Deliberations
The Council will meet this upcoming Monday evening, May 1st, at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom and phone dial-in. To attend the virtual meeting, please see the connection information at the bottom of this message.
Currently, discussion of the FY2024 Proposed Budget is the only agenda item.
As I've previously communicated, this budget proposes a tax cut in the Town's portion of your annual property tax bill. The tax reduction, as proposed, is the equivalent of about $200 per homeowner. Even with the inclusion of the Town Administrator expense, we can still provide some tax relief. PG County is planning a nearly 7% tax increase, but we have no control over their plans.
I did not set out to provide a tax cut; however, our projected revenue streams will greatly exceed our projected expenses. In such situations, I believe that elected government leaders owe their constituents a plan for the use of that money, or they need to give it back. In the FY2024 Proposed Budget, we managed to pay for every service our residents have come to expect; make additional investments to public safety (e.g., a new Police Department cruiser and dashcams for every police vehicle, etc.); and, for the first time since at least 2011, operate with a budget surplus! In other words, FY2024 revenues will pay for FY2024 expenses while saving money for a rainy day.
This budget does not depend on the American Rescue Plan Act in any way to provide a tax cut. Every single annual operating expense and every single service the Town paid for last year is paid for with FY2024 revenues--that is what the Federal government requires of us and we are 100% compliant. The Town will receive $750,000 in additional revenue next year that historically has not been available to us. Over $600,000 is from the automated speed camera program. The other $150,000 comes from interest on the $2,500,000 we hold in reserves.
The following charts display some key budget facts that represent why I believe this budget is an incredibly responsible use of our taxpayer resources.
Unlike many past budgets, this budget saves money.
This is the first time in over a decade that a proposed budget plans to SAVE money. Fortunately, we have nearly $2,500,000 in reserves. Unfortunately, that money exists primarily because town residents were overtaxed through inaccurate forecasts of annual operating expenses or for projects that were not implemented. The following two charts depict ten years of proposed or adopted budgets that, until now, did not plan to save money.