County Executive Pittman Delivers County Budget Proposal to Tackle Long-standing Needs
Annapolis, MD (May 1, 2019) - Today Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman delivered his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2020 to the County Council. The proposal addresses an array of chronically and historically underfunded county needs in such essential areas as education, public safety, transportation, and the environment. The corrective actions will be achieved through an income and property revenue package that will keep Anne Arundel taxes at a much lower rate than other suburban counties.
With today’s unveiling of the budget proposal, County Executive Pittman is making good on his promise to educators by funding the salary package proposed by the Board of Education. The budget proposal includes a long overdue investment in education, including 136 additional classroom teachers to reduce class sizes, 27 new mental health positions for student wellness and 47 new special education positions.
“As we grew from a rural to a suburban county, our elected officials lacked the courage to budget for the future,” said County Executive Pittman. “The budget I present today will tackle our challenges instead of ignoring them.”
The County Executive also proposed a $250 million boost to capital funding through the Reserve Fund for Permanent Public Improvements (PPI), specifically for school construction, public safety facilities and road capacity and transportation projects.
"I commend the County Executive for prioritizing public safety and schools," said Andrew Pruski, County Council Chairman. "There is no question that prior administrations lacked the will to address the tough issues. We must put more police on the street, have adequate staffing to protect our homes during a fire or emergency, and lower class size to help teachers do their job."
The budget provides a boost to public safety agencies by filling critical staffing needs. The budget fills 29 police vacancies and adds 10 new sworn officers. As part of a multi-year plan for the fire department, the budget adds 35 new firefighters. Thirteen new detention officers will be added to staff the new Central Booking facilities.
Other investments include:
● Four new environmental inspectors to protect our environment
● Six new planners to support better environmental planning and the General Development Plan.
● Creating a county-stat program to increase efficiency and accountability
● Additional support for community development housing programs and rental assistance
● One new park ranger and $1 million in additional funding for much-needed maintenance and renovations at county parks
● Making the library branch at the Annapolis Mall permanent and adding to the libraries’ materials budget.
These new investments are supported by a revenue package that raises income and property taxes, but still keeps Anne Arundel taxes much lower than other suburban counties. The proposed income tax rate is 2.81% and the proposed property tax rate is 93.5 cents.
“The budget that I present to you today is fiscally responsible, and it confronts the challenges we face as a county,” said Pittman.
Full details of the budget can be found on the county budget website.