The County budget is the plan proposed by the County Executive that identifies the sources of County revenue and establishes the ways those revenues may spent. This plan is submitted to the Council through a budget legislative package which consists of a number of bills and resolutions enacting the operating budget and the capital budget. The budget also provides for details about taxes, fees, and other revenue sources for the County and some affiliated agencies.  Expenditures may be made only as the budget allows.


About the Budget

Howard County operates on a July 1 – June 30 fiscal year. By Charter, the County is required to have a balanced budget. The County budget consists of two parts: capital and operating.

The 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. Projects are also sometimes paid for with borrowed money, generally through bonds like general obligation bonds (GO Bonds). A project will often have a mix of funding sources.

The county operating budget covers the day to day activities of the county and related agencies. This includes expenses such as 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 by tax revenue, derived mainly from the property tax and the local income tax. Most of the money covered by the operating budget is in the General Fund, but the budget also contains a variety of special funds, all of which have special sources of revenue and are used for restricted purposes (for example, the Shared Septic Systems Fund and the Water and Sewer Operating Fund).

Budget Information

Expand All

Stay Connected!

Sign up to stay up to date on everything Howard County.