April 24, 2018
Politics & Opinion
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A Budget That Advances A Fundamental Vision

County Executive Steve Schuh
County Executive Steve Schuh's picture
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May 18, 2017

On May 1, I presented our proposed Fiscal Year 2018 (FY2018) budget to the county council. I am excited about this budget and believe it advances our administration's fundamental vision of making Anne Arundel County the best place to live, work and start a business in Maryland.

The budget itself is built around our five major policy initiatives: moderating taxes and fees to make it easier for our residents to live and work here, strengthening education, improving public safety, reforming county government to make it more efficient and customer-friendly, and improving our quality of life.

Reducing Taxes and Fees

Over the last two years, we enacted more than $64 million in tax and fee relief. The FY2018 budget continues this initiative, by eliminating unnecessary taxes that hurt working families.

The movie tax is a nearly $1 per person nuisance tax that hits our citizens as they enjoy a night out with the family. The athletic facility tax is a $36 per year tax that adds to the cost of exercise. We should be encouraging our citizens to embrace a healthy lifestyle, not creating barriers. The mobile home tax is a $300-per-year tax that places an unnecessary burden on residents of mobile home communities.

Strengthening Education

The FY2018 budget fully funds a $15.6 million teacher salary step increase and the largest school construction effort in county history, including construction money for Crofton High School

Investing in Public Safety

The FY2018 budget includes funding for 38 new public safety personnel, and allocates funding for the construction of a new police academy and central booking facility.

Reforming County Government

The FY2018 budget will centralize all background checks so that our various front-line departments, particularly public safety, are not distracted from their primary missions by having to conduct background checks. The Department of Inspections and Permits has also been restructured for better deployment of staff. The county is digitizing personnel forms to help accelerate hiring.

Improving the Overall Quality of Life

The FY2018 budget also works to improve resident’s overall quality of life by making strategic investments to protect our waterways and enhance recreational opportunities, including more than $233 million over six years to improve our waterways, $36 million to fully connect our system of bike trails, and funding to open two new boat ramps this year in Shady Side and in Solley Cove.

I believe this budget will help accelerate Anne Arundel County’s assent to statewide leadership, and we will finally take our rightful place as the best jurisdiction in Maryland.

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