Baltimore County Now
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz
1. You plan for today and 20 years from today.
The best example of this in our FY 15 budget is the $1.1 billion Schools for Our Future program, a school renovation and construction initiative that will eliminate overcrowding in our schools and meet the needs of our County’s educational facilities for the next generation, adding 11,000 new or replacements seats and increasing the number of schools with air conditioning to 97%.
2. You pay cash when you can.
The County does this through Pay-As-You-Go funding, which is provided to the capital budget to offset the County's need to issue debt; instead of borrowing money and paying interest, we pay in cash. This year's total PAYGO funding amounts to $88.8 million to support important projects in public works, recreation and parks, and school air conditioning.
3. You keep your credit score high so you can borrow money at the lowest possible interest rate.
Baltimore County is one of just 38 counties across the nation to earn an AAA bond rating from all three major Wall Street rating agencies. A bond rating is Wall Street’s version of a personal credit score. Our triple AAA ratings allow us to spend far less in interest payments when we do borrow money, and they serve as recognition by the experts that Baltimore County is fiscally well-managed.
4. You don't borrow more than you can afford to pay back.
The County designates how much we can borrow through our spending affordability guidelines, which, based on recommendations presented to us by Wall Street’s bond rating agencies, are established by the County Council to limit spending so that the cost of the services we provide doesn’t exceed the growth of our economy. You do this at home by working out a monthly household budget and factoring in all your costs, debt and savings to help you determine a loan amount that fits comfortably within your budget.
5. You know what's most important to your quality of life, and that’s where you put your time, effort and money.
The County’s legacy of responsible fiscal management upholds our promise to taxpayers to provide an efficient government, but making tough fiscal decisions also enables us to provide an effective government. When we find ways to save, we can redirect those funds to support programs and initiatives that improve the lives of both today’s taxpayers and those of future generations. Most importantly, when the County generates savings, we are better able to concentrate on our three priority areas of education, public safety and upgrading our infrastructure.
Read the proposed FY15 Budget Message here.