Proposal Keeps Property Tax Rate Flat, the 26th Year Without an Increase
Rockville, Maryland, Feb. 27 – Rockville’s Mayor and Council continue budget deliberations in March with public hearings and work sessions focused on crafting a Fiscal Year 2021 budget that outlines the city’s priorities.
City Manager Rob DiSpirito presented the Mayor and Council with a FY 2021 budget proposal during their meeting on Monday, Feb. 24. Find the proposed budget at www.rockvillemd.gov/budget and details and video of the presentation with the Feb. 24 meeting listing at www.rockvillemd.gov/AgendaCenter.
The budget, which covers the fiscal year that begins July 1, is scheduled for adoption by the Mayor and Council on Monday, May 4.
The proposed FY 2021 operating budget of $144.2 million is an increase of 3.8% over the total operating budget for FY 2020. The general fund budget, which supports the largest portion of the operating budget, is $86.7 million, a 3.1% increase.
Increased revenue from property tax and income tax will help support the operating and capital budgets. The city’s current real property tax rate of $0.292 per $100 of assessed valuation would remain the same for FY21. All residential and commercial property owners pay this tax. Rockville has not increased its property tax rate since Fiscal Year 1995.
The proposed budget includes funding for an upgraded radio communication system for the public works and recreation and parks departments; redesign of the city’s website; upgraded security at the water treatment plant; smart parking meters; adjustments for the new minimum wage; increased support for Rockville Economic Development, Inc.; and contributions to the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department. Other priorities include employee safety equipment, energy conservation, compliance with the America’s Water Infrastructure Act, a new city branding initiative, security at special events, improvements related to the Americans with Disabilities Act, and funding for pedestrian safety infrastructure and education.
The proposal calls for an increase in full‐time positions, including three new refuse workers approved by the Mayor and Council during the current fiscal year to address growing service demands. Other proposed positions include a media specialist in the city’s cable television station, an arts and culture coordinator under the City Manager’s Office, a new police officer, an event specialist in the Recreation and Parks Department, and a new housing specialist in the Planning and Development Services Department.
The proposed FY 2021-FY 2025 Capital Improvements Program, the five-year plan for funding new construction and infrastructure maintenance, includes $20.7 million in new funding, combined with a carryover of $50.7 million to support 53 projects during the fiscal year.
Rockville’s four utility funds are enterprise funds. They function like a private business, with costs fully recovered through user charges. The utility funds are the water fund, the sewer fund, the refuse fund, and the stormwater management fund. Rate increases for the water and sewer funds were approved two years ago. They are necessary to repair and replace aging water and sewer pipes and other infrastructure vital to providing these services, and for required payments to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission related to a regional wastewater treatment plant. The city does not control the amount paid for regional wastewater treatment.
For the city’s water and sewer customers, water rates for a residential property with a 3/4-inch meter and 16,000 gallons of usage will increase approximately 5.3%. Sewer rates for the same property will increase 6.9%. Recycling and trash service will increase by $16, to $461 per household per year. The stormwater management rate will remain at $132 per year. For tables illustrating the annual financial impact of changes to the city’s fees and charges for two sample households, see page 25 of the proposed budget at www.rockvillemd.gov/budget.
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Budget Calendar at a Glance
- Monday, March 2: Public hearing and Mayor and Council work session.
- Monday, March 23: Public hearing and Mayor and Council work session.
- Friday, April 17: Close of public record.
- Monday, April 20: Mayor and Council work session.
- Monday, May 4: Adoption of the FY 2021 budget.
Meetings are broadcast live on channel 11 on county cable systems, livestreamed 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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Director of Communication