Howard income tax receipts grow, but not as much as last year

Howard County income tax collections — the second-largest source of county revenue — continue to increase, which will likely help the county avoid a serious budget shortfall this coming year.

"This number kind of confirmed that we are not going to have any shortfalls," said Raymond S. Wacks, Howard's budget director. "The economy is relatively strong in Howard County. We're on track."

The largest source of revenue, property tax collections, is expected to remain mostly flat until at least 2014, as home values continue to decline. Those numbers have lagged because the state reassesses property values only every three years.

The November income tax distributions show an 11.8 percent gain from last year, but growth was smaller when compared with last year's 14 percent increase. November income tax collection figures from the state comptroller's office often help local governments gauge their projections for the following budget year as they craft spending proposals.

The county executive will hold the first public hearing on the budget for fiscal year 2013 at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the George Howard Building in Ellicott City.

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