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The Town of Mount Airy has completed its Fiscal Year 2016 budget, with the mayor and Town Council voting unanimously to adopt it Monday night following a hearing which drew no negative comments.

The town's FY16 budget is $4,191,545, down from $4,571,701 in FY15. Much of the difference is due to several late amendments to the FY15 budget, including a roughly $250,000 transfer of funds to Mount Airy's capital budget and a state grant received in FY15 for more than $300,000.

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The FY16 budget keeps the town's real property tax rate flat at 16.95 cents per $100 of assessed value, the lowest of Carroll's eight municipal governments, and ranked 24th lowest in the state out of 157 municipalities.

The two largest revenue generators for the town are expected to remain relatively unchanged from the current fiscal year at $1.7 million from real and personal property taxes and $1.4 million from state income taxes.

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One of the most significant expenditure changes in FY16 is due to a cost increase for the Maryland State Police Resident Trooper program of about $100,000. Included in the budget is a $40,000 line item for a municipal police chief, a post several of the council members are hoping will lead to forming the town's own police force, enabling them to stop paying for the trooper program.

The mayor and Town Council have chosen to transfer more than $650,000 from the town's general fund reserves and the water and sewer fund reserves in FY16 to balance the budget, said Councilman Chris Everich. Mayor Pat Rockinberg said these funds are being used to pay for capital projects, including maintenance and improvements to roads, parks and the water and sewer system. Council President Peter Helt said the town has successfully built up its reserves over the years — and the town has a $15 million surplus. Helt also said the funded capital projects were anticipated and budgeted accordingly.

The budget year begins July 1.

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