Harford County Executive Barry Glassman signed his final county budget for the 2023 fiscal year Wednesday.
”We fully funded education, we fully funded public safety, and we cut taxes,” Glassman said.
The Harford County Council finalized the fiscal 2023 budget Tuesday night.
The total county budget for fiscal 2023 is $1.212 billion, up 14.8% from this year. The budget includes increased funding for the Harford County Board of Education — $324.2 million, up 10.3% from fiscal 2022. Volunteer fire companies will receive $8.9 million, about 8.5% more for each company from fiscal 2022 and an overall increase of 15.9%; and the Harford Volunteer Fire and EMS Foundation will receive nearly $6.5 million, about 18% more than fiscal 2022.
The budget also includes a five-cent property tax cut, the largest in Harford County history, according to Glassman. The new property tax rate will be $0.9779, or 98 cents per $100 of assessed value, which is 5 cents lower than the current rate of $1.0279 and 6.41 cents lower than the rate of $1.042 when Glassman came into office, said County Treasurer Robbie Sandlass.
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The fiscal 2023 budget was one of four bills approved during the meeting, by a vote of 6-0; council member Joseph Woods was not present.
Prior to the vote, 41 amendments were added to the bill. Kimberly Spence, the county’s budget and management research chief, explained why.
“Most of [the amendments] are balancers,” Spence said. “So, you change one dollar, you have to go back and balance everything.”
The council approved three other bills: one outlining the definition and zoning specifications of entertainment and events centers; one that would allow for the removal of a council member; and one that would enact a new pay plan and classification plan.
The council also approved two resolutions, one that would adopt the capital program for fiscal years 2023 through 2028, and one that sets a countywide property tax rate for fiscal year 2023, which starts July 1.