Flat-funding nonprofits considered in Carroll budget talks

The Carroll County Board of Commissioners will consider flat-funding all nonprofits in the county's fiscal year 2014 budget while reducing the proposed Education Opportunity Fund as they move forward in the budget process.

The commissioners had proposed a three percent cut for five of the county's 11 nonprofit organizations that receive county funding before a five-percent cut is implemented next year.

Board of Commissioners President Doug Howard proposed flat-funding all county nonprofits at the same level as last year and received the support of Commissioner Haven Shoemaker, but no vote was taken at Tuesday's work session.

Howard suggested the board modify its proposed $400,000 Education Opportunity Fund intended to help support home and private school students.

Instead of the county directly reimbursing parents for books and other school supplies, Howard proposed the fund be a $300,000 program through the county's six library branches.

This would allow the library to purchase the materials at a lower cost instead of having the county reimbursing parents for materials bought at retail price with sales tax, Howard said.

The materials also could be reused through the library system.

"If it turned out to be successful, I think it's something " he said.

But they were not the only significant changes to the county's proposed $367 million budget to be discussed.

Howard also proposed keeping the amusement and hotel tax rates at their current levels instead of decreasing the two, as was originally included in the budget.

The State's Attorney Office has requested an additional $54,000 for a new prosecution assistant.

There were no votes taken on any of these proposals with another budget work session scheduled for Thursday May 23. The commissioners are scheduled to approve the budget May 28.

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