From Harford County government:
The Proposed FY 2014 Budget for Harford County
On April 15, 2013, in accordance with the Charter of Harford County, I submitted the proposed FY 2014 budget to President Billy Boniface and the Harford County Council.
The budget reflects a balanced approach to governing, the realities of a fragile economy and the priorities of our community. The proposed FY 2014 budget was crafted by adhering to sound fiscal management policies that help keep Harford County operating within its means without increasing taxes.
As with prior years, there continues to be efforts by the State and Federal government to pass along to counties, unfunded mandates, additional responsibilities and unsustainable costs.
Through tough economic times the past few years, perhaps far more challenging than in several decades, we have kept our tax rate low and worked with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Board of Education, Harford Community College, Harford County Library and others to hold the line on spending. This has resulted in significant savings to the taxpayers, while we work hard to manage government in the most economical and efficient manner possible.
During the past several years a number of revenue streams have been adversely affected by various factors outside the control of this Administration. A lagging national economy, unfunded mandates and lower tax revenues have resulted in a lean budget, both Operating and Capital for FY 2014. The General Fund Operating Budget reflects an increase of only $6 million over the previous fiscal year’s budget.
Without question, the proposed FY 2014 Operating and Capital Budgets are one of the leanest budgets my Administration has prepared during my term in office. We have done our best with projected resources, to meet the needs of the citizens of Harford County without increasing taxes or the size of government.
Due to the fiscal realities of the proposed FY 2014 budget, there will be no wage or salary enhancements for County employees, employees of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, or Harford County Public Library. Furthermore, the County is now required by the State to fund an additional $1.5 million for teacher pensions in the coming year. However the Administration is providing an additional $1,952,485 to the Board of Education above and beyond Maintenance of Effort.
Overall, the proposed FY 2014 budget reflects a balance of many divergent wants and needs of the County, with the ability of government to provide for them through the taxes our citizens pay. Despite these economic challenging times, Harford County remains a vibrant community full of opportunity and promise. The proposed FY 2014 budget reflects our collective values, while continuing our tradition of strong, sound financial management for the people who call Harford County home.
David R. Craig
Harford County Executive