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Rockville News

Posted on: February 23, 2017

City Manager to Present Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Proposal

Proposal Keeps Property Tax Rate Flat, Includes More Police, New Construction

Rockville, Maryland, Feb. 23 – City Manager Rob DiSpirito is scheduled to present a Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal to the Mayor and Council during their meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27 at City Hall, 111 Maryland Ave.

“This budget focuses on the health and safety of our residents, business owners and employees; critical infrastructure improvements; and new or expanded city programs and services,” DiSpirito wrote in a letter presenting the proposal.

The budget, which covers the fiscal year that begins July 1, is scheduled for adoption by the Mayor and Council on Monday, May 1.

The proposed FY 2018 operating budget of $129.4 million is an increase of 2.5 percent over the total operating budget for FY 2017. The general fund budget, which supports the largest portion of the operating budget, is $79.2 million, a 2.6 percent increase.

The city’s current real property tax rate of $0.292 per $100 of assessed valuation would remain the same for FY18. All residential and commercial property owners pay this tax.

Property tax, the city's largest source of general fund revenue, is estimated to increase by 3.3 percent from FY17, to $40.9 million, due to higher property assessments during the most recent round and new properties on the tax roll. Income tax, the city's second largest single source of general fund revenue, is estimated to increase by 9.7 percent, to $13.4 million.

The number of full-time positions funded by the proposal remains relatively flat. An increase of three full-time police officers was achieved by eliminating three vacant positions in the City Manager’s Office.

The proposal also includes a 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment and an average 3 percent step increase for all regular employees; wage increases for temporary employees to a rate that is comparable with those of neighboring jurisdictions; increases in overtime, mostly attributed to police; and increases for the cost of city-provided benefits. 

The proposed FY 2018-FY 2022 Capital Improvements Program (CIP), the five-year plan for funding new construction and infrastructure maintenance, includes $19.9 million in new funding, combined with a carryover of $47.2 million to support 47 projects during the fiscal year. The proposed budget includes funding for the following new projects:

Lincoln Park Community Center parking lot expansion.
Proposed Potomac Woods Community Center concept design and outreach.
Rockville Senior Center Americans with Disabilities Act improvements.
A traffic signal communication system.
Stream restoration at Anderson Park.
Concrete roof repairs and electrical upgrades at the Water Treatment Plant.
Information technology network security enhancements.

The five-year plan includes a $3.5 million taxpayer-supported debt issue in FY18 for major improvements to the Rockville Swim and Fitness Center locker rooms and $828,000 in FY 2021 and $3.3 million in FY 2022 for vehicular bridge rehabilitation. Other debt issues are planned to support the water, sewer and stormwater management funds.

Rockville operates six enterprise funds. Each functions like a private business, with costs fully recovered through user charges. The enterprise funds are the water fund, the sewer fund, the refuse fund, the stormwater management fund, the parking fund and the RedGate Golf Course fund.

Average residential bills for city-provided water and sewer service will increase under plans previously approved by the Mayor and Council. Recycling and refuse service will increase $21 per year for all customers. Stormwater management rates are proposed to remain the same. Based on the FY 2018 rates, average annual residential expenses for city utilities and property taxes for a family of four will increase by $170, or 4.9 percent.

Offer Ideas:
  • At www.rockvillemd.gov/budget, where the budget proposal is available for review. 
  • At public hearings during the March 6 and April 3 Mayor and Council meetings.
Budget Schedule at a Glance
  • Thursday, March 2: Work session.
  • Monday, March 6: Public hearing.
  • Monday, April 3: Public hearing on the FY 2018 budget and the constant yield tax rate, and a work session.
  • Friday, April 7: Public record closes.
  • Monday, April 17: Work session.
  • Monday, May 1: Budget adoption.
Mayor and Council meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are broadcast live on channel 11 on county cable systems, live streamed at www.rockvillemd.gov/rockville11 and available a day after the meeting at www.rockvillemd.gov/videoondemand.

For more information, or for members of the media interested in arranging an interview with staff from the city's Finance Department, please call 240-314-8105.

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Marylou Berg
Director of Communication
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