The Anne Arundel County Council passed County Executive Steuart Pittman’s fiscal 2023 budget in a bipartisan 6-1 vote. Voting in favor were Chair Lisa Rodvien, and Councilmembers Andrew Pruski, Sarah Lacey, Allison Pickard, Nathan Volke and Amanda Fiedler.
The budget includes a tax cut that lowers the income tax rate on the first $50,000 of taxable income for every taxpayer while setting the property tax rate further below the cap than ever before in county history. The budget will grow the County’s rainy day fund while reducing borrowing and eliminating the structural deficit created during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through supplemental amendments, the budget also includes hiring and retention bonuses for school bus drivers and crossing guards, as well as one-time pay equity funding for Anne Arundel Community College faculty and staff.
The budget will fully fund the county’s obligations under the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, while setting a new county record of providing $50 million more than the state maintenance of effort requirement. The budget also adds new positions, including:
It fully funds the Board of Education’s capital budget request for the first time in county history, while restoring back step increases and fully funding the Board’s request for pay increases for all teachers and staff. Through supplemental amendments, the county will provide funding for hiring and retention bonuses for school bus drivers and crossing guards, as well as one-time pay equity funding for Anne Arundel Community College.
● 119 new special education positions
● 29 new social/emotional learning positions
● 48 new pre-k positions to convert half-day programs to full-day pre-k classrooms
● 20 new English language development positions
● Three new bilingual facilitators
● 140 new classroom teacher positions, including the final year of staffing required to fully open Crofton High School
The budget provides money for the design and construction of a new 911 Call Center, which will combine police and fire call takers into a single, unified operation under the Office of Emergency Management. To support public safety efforts, the budget will replace the dilapidated firing range, while funding a new forensics facility and a new special operations facility, and 55 new vehicles for officers.
The budget also provides $3.5 million to restore a building on the campus of the future Crownsville Hospital Memorial Park, to allow the building to become the Crownsville Health and Wellness Center, an incubator that will house emerging nonprofits, offer services to residents of the treatment centers operating nearby and be a temporary home for the county team that will manage the restoration of the site.