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Council Agenda: Budget Adoption and Strategic Direction

Proclamations on public works and boating safety weeks also on the agenda.

This article was corrected from its original version. An explanation follows the article.

The Rockville City Council is scheduled to vote on a proposed fiscal 2013 budget and to discuss its strategic goals as part of its agenda for Monday.

The at . The meeting will be broadcast live on Rockville 11.

The budget

The council is scheduled to adopt the city’s fiscal 2013 budget for fiscal 2013.

The proposed operating budget is $107.1 million, a decrease from the fiscal 2012 budget by $88,848 (0.1 percent). The proposed capital budget is $69.6 million, a decrease of $2.6 million (3.6 percent) from fiscal 2012. It includes funding for 47 projects and a $3.9 million transfer from the general fund.

The plan for fiscal 2013, which begins July 1, maintains the real property tax rate of 29.2 cents per $100 of assessed value for all properties and the personal property tax rate of 80.5 cents per $100 of assessed value for commercial properties.

The budget plan includes a city supplement to the state’s homeowners’ tax credit.

The council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance to increase eligibility for the credit from a gross annual income of $85,000 per household and a net household worth (not including the value of the home and certain retirement savings) of $200,000 to $91,000 per household. The $200,000 net worth would remain, as mandated by the state. However, under the proposal, the tax relief would apply to the first $495,000 of a home’s assessed value, up from $400,000.

“For low-income households, the credit could be several hundred dollars with the maximum credit totaling the City tax due on the first $495,000 of assessed value,” according to a city staff report. “The City will forego approximately $400,000 in property tax revenues in FY 2013 due to the Homeowners’ Tax Credit Program.”

Last week, the council discussed in the operating budget. The increase reflects greater-than-expected tax duplication revenues from the county and savings on city contracts for auditing, Internet services and natural gas.

As reported in The Gazette, the council decided to fund $111,000 in design costs for a barrier in West End Park to block noise from Interstate 270.

The council also decided to forgo funding $160,000 in improvements, including a canopy, for until at least the fall months when cover from the weather is more often needed. The council chose to fund a bathroom at .

On April 30, the council voted to set aside $62,760 for the Art in Public Places program. Without that spending, the council would have had more than $410,000 available to allocate.

The council chose to fund:

  • Design costs for a barrier in West End Park to block noise from Interstate 270. (Cost: $111,000 in fiscal 2013 and $773,350 in future years.)
  • A bathroom at . (Cost: $10,000 to complement state aid).
  • The Art in Public Places program. (Cost: $62,760.)
  • The Rockville Chamber of Commerce’s  program. (Cost: $20,000.)

The council chose not to fund:

  • Improvements to . (Cost: $160,000.)
  • A green building tax credit program. (Cost: $60,000.)

Strategic goals

The council is scheduled to discuss its strategic goals and principles.

Council members John Hall and Mark Pierzchala each drafted five-year strategic plans for the council based on goals expressed by council members at a retreat on Dec. 1. The council will discuss a compilation of those plans, which include goals such as:

  • “Fiscal Responsibility” through a commitment “to anticipating changes in the economy, budgeting responsibly and limiting the growth of residential and commercial property tax rates for residents and businesses;” and
  • “Effective Communications” through “effective, meaningful, and apolitical communications via taxpayer-funded media of matters of interest to Rockville’s residents and businesses.”

Proclamations

The council is scheduled to issue proclamations declaring May 21-25, 2012, as National Public Works Week in Rockville and May 19-25, 2012, as National Boating Safety Week in Rockville.

Closed session

Before Monday’s meeting the council is scheduled to meet in closed session “to obtain legal advice and to discuss a negotiating strategy regarding a franchise agreement with Comcast,” according to the agenda.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that the council did not fund the Rockville Rewards program in the fiscal 2013 budget. After consideration, the council decided to fund the Rockville Chamber of Commerce program. This version corrects the fifth and sixth paragraphs from the bottom. Rockville Patch regrets the error.

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