The Town of Sykesville presented its proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 on Monday — including a 31 percent increase in revenue from the previous fiscal year and a two-cent reduction in property tax rates.

The increase in revenue is expected to come from a 4.9 percent increase in property assessments, resulting in increased revenue from property taxes. Increases are also expected in impact fees, state highway user revenue, grant funding and use of the unrestricted fund.

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Combined, the increases bring the town’s revenue from $3,103,403 in FY19 to $4,076,659 in FY20.

“Our five-year revenue perspective is showing we are over $4 million [this year],” said Evelyn Sweet, town treasurer, “and as you can see, we were hovering right around $3 million for three [of the five] years.”

Sykesville's FY20 includes increased expenditures from FY19.
Sykesville's FY20 includes increased expenditures from FY19. (Contributed)

Sweet also presented where the Town of Sykesville stands in regard to property taxes for Carroll County, based on figures other municipalities provided. With a decrease from $0.35 to $0.33 per every $100 of assessed value, its rates are lower than one other municipality — the City of Taneytown at $0.37 — but are still higher than others: New Windsor at $0.26, Hampstead at $0.22, Manchester at $0.22, and Mount Airy at $0.17.

Sweet said the City of Westminster and Town of Union Bridge did not respond to the town’s request for the figures, she said.

“We were the highest [taxed] in the county for a little while, too,” Mayor Ian Shaw said at the meeting. “That's why I'm mindful of this.”

Along with increased revenue, there will also be increased expenditures, Sweet said.

Sykesville fiscal year 2020 capital improvement plan requesting 321 percent more than last year

The Sykesville Mayor and Town Council saw the breakdown of capital improvements the town is requesting for the 2020 fiscal year Monday night — which will require 321 percent more from the general fund than last year.

Some of those proposed expenditures will go toward: the splash pad at Cooper Park, new playground equipment at Cooper Park and Harold Burkett Park, increased landscaping on Main Street and South Branch Park, a rebranding campaign for the town, the Sykesville Master Plan update, computer updates for patrol vehicles, health insurance premium increases, fully funding the Capital Improvement Program, and 2 percent cost-of-living adjustments to all employees.

The CIP was slightly different from that which was presented at an earlier meeting, with a 271 percent increase from FY19 — instead of the 321 percent increase that was originally announced — once grant funding was recalculated.

The majority of those funds will still be dedicated to parks, vehicles and streets.

The first public hearing on the budget will take place at the Mayor & Town Council’s April 8 meeting, and a vote to adopt the budget is slated for May 13.

The entire meeting was streamed live on Facebook and can be viewed on the Town of Sykesville Facebook page.

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