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Howard budgets adopted

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The Howard County Council passed a final version of County Executive Calvin Ball’s fiscal 2020 operating and capital budgets by a vote of 5-0. The fiscal 2020 Operating Budget of $1.2 billion, which goes into effect July 1, represents a two percent increase from last year.

Despite slowed revenue growth in the county, Ball worked with the council to fund community priorities, including the Howard County Public School System – which will receive 58 cents out of every dollar – stronger public safety, improved health, a cleaner environment, reliable infrastructure, prosperous businesses, and an innovative, efficient government, without raising property taxes.

“I want to thank the Howard County Council for helping us create a strong blueprint for the future of our community. I appreciate their collaboration on education funding to ensure we achieve our collective vision for Howard County,” said Ball. “Our operating and capital budgets will responsibly manage tax payer dollars to support our community needs. We are funding new and expanded school buildings, aspects of the Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan, facilities for older adults, transportation improvements – including roads, bikeways, sidewalks and bus stops, new fire stations, technology infrastructure, and more. When it comes to fire and rescue, I maintain that we must act now to address our staffing needs and invest in public safety. Moving forward, we will continue our commitment to spending wisely and bettering the quality of life for all.”

“The operating and capital budgets that the Council passed … reflect our shared values and needs in Howard County,” said Howard County Council Chair Christiana Mercer Rigby. “I am grateful that my colleagues on the County Council were able to come together with County Executive Ball, his senior staff, and his cabinet to ensure [more than] $18 million in increased county funding for our school system, provide critical investments in complete streets infrastructure, and move forward with the much-needed construction of High School 13, among other priorities.”

“The fiscal constraints of this year’s budgets forced us to make tough decisions for [fiscal] 20,” said Howard County Council Vice Chair Opel Jones. “However, we have passed strong budgets that reflect our commitment to education, while maintaining government services of the highest quality.”

The fiscal 2020 Capital Budget totals $206.3 million. Highlights from both budgets can be found at www.howardcountymd.gov/News/ArticleID/1543/News052919

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