Dulaney & Towson High


No Tax Hike In Approved Baltimore County Budget, Office Renovation Trimmed: Reports

Taxes will stay the same in Baltimore County. The just-approved budget trimmed funding for an office renovation and raised teacher salaries.

WYPR, The Baltimore Banner and The Baltimore Sun all reported that the Baltimore County Council on Thursday passed a $5 billion fiscal year 2025 budget. The spending plan didn't raise county taxes, and it fully funded Baltimore County Public Schools. (Jacob Baumgart/Patch)

The Baltimore County Council unanimously approved a $5 billion budget that didn't raise taxes, multiple reports said.

WYPR, The Baltimore Banner and The Baltimore Sun all confirmed the news about the fiscal year 2025 budget.

The County Council only made one change to Democratic County Executive Johnny Olszewski's budget proposal.

The council slashed $600,000 from the $1.2 million allocated for a county office renovation, each outlet reported. This project was linked with a proposal to expand the County Council from seven to nine members. Cutting this funding led some to speculate if the council expansion was still on the table, but Council Chair Izzy Patoka (D-Pikesville) told The Banner that the matters aren't related.

"This budget makes historic investments in our people, our infrastructure, and our communities while sustaining our commitment to move us forward in transportation, public safety, education, and more," Olszewski said in a statement. "We will continue to set new standards of excellence for everyone who lives and works in Baltimore County."

WYPR said the council fully funded the Baltimore County Public Schools budget request. The Sun said the BCPS budget for this fiscal year will be $2.8 billion. That's $41 million more than the state requires for Baltimore County.

The Sun said the council also signed off on a November ballot referendum that will ask voters if they can borrow nearly $600 million to improve roads, schools and sewers.

Olszewski previously said Baltimore County will need new funding sources now that federal pandemic-era funding is done.

WYPR said the council last year approved the $6 million purchase of a Towson building to add more county offices after being told it was move-in ready. Patoka was then frustrated to see $7.5 million in this year's budget for "extraordinary repairs and renovations" for the office building at 305 Washington Ave., WYPR reported.

"It seems as though the Baltimore County Council was on a need-to-know basis, only being informed when a budget-year appropriation or end-of fiscal-year action was needed," Patoka said, according to The Banner, adding that "the county is now the owner of this building. And for better or worse, we need to make sure it is in good and safe condition."

The Banner said Patoka and David Marks (R-Perry Hall) were both disappointed that there weren't more road improvements for individual districts. The county staff said its engineers' road repair approach was countywide, not district-by-district.

Olszewski previously said other budget highlights include:

  • $22 million towards a new Wilkens Police Precinct
  • Over $11 million to complete a new Catonsville Fire Station
  • The first $1 million towards our Fair Election Fund public financing system set to begin with the 2026 election cycle
  • Raising the starting salary for educators to $60,000 — fulfilling our obligation to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future — two years ahead of schedule
  • Millions in capital funding towards ongoing school construction projects, including a new Dulaney High School a like-new Towson High School, and a new Scotts Branch Elementary School
  • Continuing free community college to any Baltimore County household making less than $150,000 a year for residents seeking a full-time degree, part-time degree, or workforce certification program
  • Freezing in-County tuition at CCBC for all residents for a record sixth year in a row
  • $35 million in state and local funding towards major Baltimore County Public Library projects
  • More than $30 million in local, state, and federal funding for parks and open space

More specifics on the budget are posted here.

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