Baltimore County News
Director, Baltimore County Office of Budget and Finance
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s budget for FY 2017 continues the County’s tradition of fiscal responsibility and expedites important school construction and air conditioning projects at County schools.
The Baltimore County Council voted this morning to adopt County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's proposed budget for FY 2017 with only minor changes. The County’s General Fund Operating Budget for FY 2017 is $1.99 billion, an increase of only 1.27% above the previous year, and falls within the Council’s spending affordability guidelines. Highlights of this year’s Total Operating Budget include reaching multi-year agreements with almost all of the employee groups, an $8 million increase in the Maintenance-of-Effort funding of the Public Schools – including 104 new positions, and second year in a row of more than $100 million in PAYGO funding (cash from the Operating Budget) of the Capital Budget.
The FY 2017 capital budget is more than $373 million, including $127 million in PAYGO funds. 51% of the total ($195.7 million) is dedicated to school renovation and construction projects for Baltimore County Public Schools. This Capital Budget level does not reflect the $39 million supplement for accelerating school air conditioning that has been focus of several recent news reports. In July, the County Executive will ask the County Council to approve the supplement so that the final six air conditioning only projects can be completed by the fall of 2018.
Despite the rhetoric coming from some outside critics who have no knowledge of Baltimore County finances and our ability to fulfill on time our $1.3 billion Schools for Our Future promise, the upcoming supplement is not a reaction but a continued effort that began in 2011, i.e., to put all available dollars into school construction. Furthermore, the supplement will force Baltimore County to issue bonds in order to forward fund the State’s $44 million share of the cost. The additional $44 million brings the total FY 2017 amount the County will advance the schools on behalf of the State to $166 million. While the outside critics may focus on inventing motives for the County’s actions, they fail to respond to the real question – “When will the State pay off its $166 million I.O.U. to Baltimore County?”
I invite you to take a look at the comprehensive budget originally proposed by the County Executive. Meanwhile, here is the FY 17 adopted budget at a glance:
Over $3 million in grants proposed in FY17 budget
Recognizing that arts and culture are vital to our quality of life, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has proposed $3.27 million in grants to arts, science and humanities organizations in the fiscal year 2017 budget, an increase of $382,000.
“If we are to create the kind of Baltimore County that we want our children to be proud of, we must recognize the important role that Baltimore City plays in our county, in our region and in our state. That is why we continue to dedicate more than $3 million in next year’s budget to support regional arts and cultural institutions in both the city and County,” said County Executive Kamenetz.
687,000 visits to City arts and cultural attractions
From the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art and Center Stage to the National Aquarium, Baltimore Symphony and Maryland Zoo, County residents support arts and culture throughout the region. Last year, there were 687,000 visits by Baltimore County residents to Baltimore City arts and cultural attractions.
“Not only do the arts help create the wonderful quality of life we enjoy, they add jobs and generate economic impact,” said Kamenetz. “For example, in 2015 the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra alone added over $8 million to Baltimore County’s economy through dollars spent at County companies, property and income taxes paid by BSO employees and revenue from performances at Oregon Ridge in Cockeysville.”
“The arts are as important as the Orioles and the Ravens to attracting and retaining businesses and recruiting employees,” added Kamenetz.
Baltimore City’s cultural institutions complement County arts organizations such as the Gordon Center for Performing Arts, Towson University Center for Asian Art & Culture and Deep Vision Dance Company.
Show Highlights FY 17 Budget, Resource Parenting and BCPS History
The May edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” highlights Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget, promotes foster and adoptive parenting and shines a spotlight on a new book that covers the history of each Baltimore County public school.
Could You be a Resource Parent? – Learn how becoming a foster or adoptive parent can change lives.
Proposed FY 17 Budget – Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz shares details of his fiscally responsible budget proposal.
“Building the Future” Book Available – Learn about the rich history of Baltimore County schools, captured in pictures and stories, in this book authored by a retired BCPS art educator.
To view streaming video of the show, go to the Hello Baltimore County page at http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Videos/hellobaltimorecounty.html . Click on the menu icon in the upper left of the video screen to select an individual segment.
In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25, in Baltimore County, at the following times:
Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m.
Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 9 p.m.
Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.
Thursdays: 1 p.m., 8 p.m.
Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.
Sundays: 10 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.