Howard County Budget FY2015
Budget Fiscal Year 2015
The county budget is the plan that shows the sources of county money and the ways it may be expended. The county budget consists of legislation to enact the operating budget and the capital budget, which are described below, and several related bills and resolutions. The county's budget includes all taxes, fees, and other revenue sources for the county and some affiliated agencies. Expenditures may only be made as the budget allows. The County Executive presents a proposed budget to the County Council. The Council may decrease proposed expenditures, but may not increase them or change the form of the budget. The Council adopts a budget each year on or before the first day of June.
For the FY 2015 Capital Budget (as presented to the Planning Board) - click here.
Capital Budget FY2015
The county capital budget deals mainly with structures that have long useful lifespans like buildings, bridges, roads, and parks. The capital budget may also include the furniture, equipment, and supplies that are needed to start up operations at a new facility. The projects in the capital budget are sometimes paid for with current revenues called PAYGO (Pay As You Go). Sometimes projects have special funding sources, for example the fire tax or state open space money, and sometimes projects are paid for with borrowed money, generally bonds including general obligation bonds (GO Bonds). Often a project will have a mix of funding sources.
Operating Budget FY2015
The county operating budget covers the day to day activities of the county (and related agencies). It includes, for example, salaries, the cost of supplies and services, rent, bond and loan repayments, grants to the county's partners, and employee benefits. It is mostly paid for with tax money, derived mostly from the property tax and the local income tax. Most of the money covered by the budget is in the "General Fund" but the budget also contains a variety of special funds, for example the Shared Septic Systems Fund and the Water and Sewer Operating Fund, all of which have special sources of revenue and are used for restricted purposes.