Ocean City Council Approves FY 2019 Budget

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The OC Council voted 6-0 to approve the FY 2019 budget as presented at the May 7 Regular Meeting. The FY 2019 Proposed total budget for all funds is $127,247,879, with a total General Fund budget of $85,065,185. This is an increase of $635,503 from the FY 2018 budget and requires property tax revenue of $40,866,861. Assessments decreased .24% for FY 2019, resulting in an increase in the constant yield tax rate to .4667. The tax rate for the proposed FY 2019 budget is the same tax rate as the FY 2018 budget, which is below the constant yield rate. As a result, $96,550 less is being collected from property taxes than if the rate were set at the constant yield tax rate. $1.5 million of prior year reserves (fund balance) is utilized in the FY 2019 budget to fund capital projects and $100,000 of prior year reserves is utilized to fund the AGH capital fund

As requested at the April 9 Police Commission meeting, the Ocean City Council voted 6-0 on an ordinance that includes marijuana smoke and paraphernalia in Chapter 30, Article VIII.  Amendments for consideration include language changes to the article title, definitions and legislative intent. Thus the Council placed a prohibition of smoking marijuana and vaping on the boardwalk in addition to smoking tobacco.

The OC Council voted in favor 6-0 of Ordinance 2018-06 amending the Ocean City, Maryland, Public Safety Employees’ Pension Plan and Trust .As presented at the May 7, Regular Meeting, modifications were agreed upon through collective bargaining negotiations. This ordinance restores the pension benefit for the FOP by removing the age requirement of 55 years old, changes the benefit calculation method to average pay of the last 3 years of employment and adds DROP enhancement allowing employees to enter at 25, 26 or 27 years of service. The cost for the town in FY19 – FY21 will be $ 480,000.

At Tuesday night’s Ocean City Council Meeting Councilwoman Mary Knight reported that the town had sent out letters to all property owners about a month ago alerting them that if they were to rent out their property or currently renting their property, that they needed a rental license if they did not already have one. Knight said the town was chastised by some for the cost of that mailing, which Knight indicated was $10,000. However – Knight indicated that as a result of the letters being sent out the town has received 385 new applications for licenses which totaled $54,285. Knight stated that she hopes that additionally those owners will now pay their 6% MD sales tax and 4.5% local room tax.