Leonardtown adopts constant yield tax rate

The Leonardtown Town Council has approved $1.37 million operating budget for the fiscal year that begins in July. The budget adopts the constant yield for property tax revenue at $.1266 per $100 of assessed valuation.

The constant yield is slightly higher than last year’s $.1257, reflecting decreased property values, to achieve the same amount of money. The budget increases property tax revenues by 4.1 percent, all of which is coming from new residential construction at Leonard’s Grant.

The budgets for the water and sewer systems and waste disposal were also established. They reflect a two-percent increase in sewer service charges. But the change to a consumption-based water service charge has not seen a significant change in customer consumption habits, so the budget does not reflect a percentage increase in the water rates.

For the operating budget, income tax revenue has increased by eight percent. As residential development adds population, the income tax revenue can expect to continue to rise.

The budget also reflects a partial restoration of state-shared highway user revenue. Those monies will be used for road repair projects.

The budget also reflects the changing of the events coordinator position from part-time to full-time. It also reflects an increase in the cost to the town from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department of the community police officer assigned to town.

As a summary to the budget document, the council says, “This budget is mindful of the fact that many residents and businesses are suffering economic hardship. The slow economic recovery continues to wreak havoc on the budgets of many jurisdictions across the country, but careful planning and budgeting for many years has allowed Leonardtown to weather the storm. This recommended FY2014 budget maintains the same level of core services as FY2013.”

The budget document goes on to say, “Continued residential growth will bring additional challenges, but should also serve to broaden the fiscal base upon which future budgets are developed. Despite these current fiscal challenges, the Mayor and Town Council shall endeavor to maintain Leonardtown as an exceptional place to live, work, and play.”



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