County Executive Danielle Hornberger
“Includes $4.7 Million in Tax Cuts, and Raises for Law Enforcement,
Paramedics, 911 Operators, and County Employees”
Elkton, Maryland—Today, Cecil County Executive Danielle Hornberger delivered her proposed FY24 budget to the County Council. Responsible fiscal practices under her leadership enable funding historic tax cuts for county residents and businesses, tax refund checks for many local homeowners, significant pay increases for law enforcement and public safety professionals, critical school construction and capital projects, and funding to combat drug crimes.
The budget, which includes $298.5 million for the operating budget and $75.4 million in capital funding, is designed to help maintain Cecil County’s AA+ bond rating, the highest that can be earned by a county of its size.
“While the U.S. is experiencing great financial uncertainty and instability right now, Cecil County is focusing on maintaining a strong local economy, such as creating more quality jobs, including 250 at the new Northrop Grumman defense manufacturing plant and around 800 new jobs in tourism activities. The FY24 budget reflects our responsible and responsive fiscal approach that addresses the needs of local residents and improves the quality of life in Cecil County, with $4.7 million in tax cuts while increasing funding for every county department,” said Hornberger.
Budget highlights include:
- Tax cuts: Helping hard-working tax-payers of Cecil County keep more of their hard-earned money with $4.7 million in income taxes cuts and reduced real property tax rate.
- Tax refund checks: $20 million returned to “Improved residential property” owners to help stimulate the economy by returning some of their hard-earned tax dollars, to spend according to their families’ priorities.
- Public safety pay hikes: Across-the-board $10,000 pay increases for members of law enforcement, public safety unions, emergency service dispatchers, and prosecutors in the State’s Attorney’s office.
- Increased public safety equipment and support: Funding for two new paramedic stations (Station #2 near Charlestown and Station #4 between Elkton and Fair Hill), more than $2 million for volunteer fire company equipment including ladder trucks and a new ambulance, and funding for a specialized drug crimes prosecution team for the State’s Attorney’s office.
- Infrastructure needs: Including funding for maintenance and repair of the county’s wastewater system and to expand the county’s broadband coverage for high-speed internet.
- School construction and capital projects: More than $2.6 million in funding for school-related capital improvements at Elkton High School, Rising Sun High School, Perryville High School, Rising Sun Elementary and Conowingo Elementary. And almost $11 million for school construction, including replacing two outdated schools to provide students and teachers with modern classrooms and updated equipment conducive to better learning.
- The FY 24 budget incorporates the State’s recommendations, in their assessment of Cecil County public schools, for 88.5 million in additional county funds towards education this year.
- Additionally, this budget includes $10 million for a “committed fund”, which will create an education lock-box.
Added Hornberger, “Although Cecil County School student to teacher ratio is better than the state average of 14.2-1*, I welcome collaboration by the School Superintendent to direct a significant portion of these county funds to reduce class sizes and realign existing teachers in schools that are overpopulated.”
Other funding includes ongoing operational funding and salary increases for the Cecil County Library and Cecil County College, and more funding for Agricultural Preservation Grants.
Added Hornberger, “I am grateful to the hard-working team of the county, to each and every member of our staff and all of our department heads, who worked day and night with county agencies, community leaders, and partners throughout the county, to prioritize funding in response to the current and critical needs of Cecil County.”
For additional information and to view the proposed FY 2024 budget please visit www.ccgov.org.