Sykesville officials have introduced a budget for fiscal 2002 that keeps the town property tax rate at the same rate charged for the past few years.
When the tax was based on 40 percent of a property's assessed value, the rate was 76 cents. A new state formula computes a rate based on 100 percent of the value, changing the rate to 30.4 cents per $100 of the total assessed value.
"Most people will not see a change in their tax bill from town, unless their assessment was increased," said Matthew H. Candland, town manager.
Sykesville has not raised taxes in nearly a decade.
The $2.3 million proposal includes $400,000 in state and county grant money that will be used to start developing Warfield Complex - a 96-acre property along Route 32 - into a business center.
Two council members, with several volunteers, hammered out the budget in five workshops. The next fiscal year begins July 1.
"We went through every line item and had every department submit a justification for each request," Candland said. "The budget assumes we retain the tax rate, but it is very tight."
The budget has little room for the more than $53,000 in requested salary increases, including the addition of a police officer and a school crossing guard. Other requests are to increase the hours for several part-time employees.
The Town Council called for one more review before the public hearing on the budget May 29.
"We have to find some way in this budget to bring about these salary requests," said Mayor Jonathan S. Herman.