Worcester Co. Adopts $227-Million FY ’23 Operating Budget

The Worcester County Commissioners have approved a Fiscal Year 2023 operating budget of nearly $227-million.
Spending grows by $10.4-million, or 5%, from the FY ’22 budget while reducing requested expenditures by $2.7-million. The budget contains no increase in the Worcester County real property tax rate and local income tax rate.
Spending priorities include public safety, education and infrastructure.

According to Worcester County officials, highlights of the budget are as follows:

Anticipated General Fund Revenues

 Based on the Real Property tax rate of $0.845, NET property taxes increased by $4,122,207.
o The Homestead Credit cap remains unchanged at 3% and is estimated to be $1,717,809
for the County’s qualified principal resident homeowners effective July 1, 2022.
 Income Tax revenue increased by $8,000,000 and is estimated at $38,000,000 and remains the
same at 2.25%. Revenues are based on the market conditions and estimates for the current year.
The pass through to Municipalities is included for $2.6 million.
 Revenue from Other Local Taxes increased by $330,000 for the following: $30,000 increase in
Room Tax administration and $300,000 in Room Tax collections for Unincorporated areas in
the County, both estimates are based on the current trends.
 State Shared Revenues increased by $103,288 due to an increase estimate for Highway User
revenue.
 Licenses and Permits increased by $70,855 overall. Significant changes include increases of
$10,000 for vending machine licenses, $15,000 for building permits and $52,455 for health
permits. A decrease of $26,000 is included for the occupational licenses which is a biannual
license.

 Charges for Services decreased by $1,411,340 with a decrease of $1,500,000 in ICE housing
revenue as the most significant change. Increases include $20,000 in recreation fees, $12,100 in
recycling revenue and $22,760 in park fees.
 Interest on investments decreased by $100,000 based on current rates of return.
 Other Revenues increased by $180,143 with an increase of $150,000 in expected sales of assets
and an increase of $28,258 in rent revenue.
 Federal grants project a decrease of $11,727 due to decreased estimates for Homeland Security
Grant revenue.
 State grants increased overall by $21,330. Increases include $200,000 in State park receipts,
$55,000 in Waterway Improvement grants, $16,895 in 911 grants, and $23,387 in a Family
Support grant. The significant decreases include $327,500 in Program Open Space grants and
$10,000 in conservation easement reimbursements.
 Transfers in decreased by $897,189.
o Prior year surplus decreased by $283,296 and Casino/Local Impact Grant Funds
decreased by $613,893.
Major Approved General Fund Expenditures County Departments and Agencies:
A summary of significant increases and decreases in approved expenditures include the following:
 State’s Attorney Office increased by $969,958.
o Increased by $863,639 in salaries and includes six additional Assistant State’s Attorneys
and six Legal Assistants.
o Increased by $135,489 in supplies and materials which includes dues, licenses,
subscriptions, software maintenance and office furniture.

 Elections Office increased by $110,275 and includes Gubernatorial early voting, Primary
Election, and General Election.
o Increased by $41,211 in salaries which includes salary increases by the State Board of
Elections of in FY23.
o Increased by $63,553 in supplies and materials mainly due to new poll books.
 Sheriff’s Office increased by $815,262.
o Increased by $606,854 in salaries and includes 2 new full-time Support Specialists and an
additional 3,964 hours for existing part-time positions.
o Increased by $623,384 in supplies and materials for body cameras, software licensing and
software maintenance.

 Fire Company Grant is included for $2,520,000 based on the current funding of $250,000 to each
fire company and the supplement for $20,000.
 Ambulance Grants is included for $6,343,244, an increase of $247,612 and includes
supplemental funding for 10 EMS companies to assist with staffing.
 Public Works Department increased by $203,678.
o Increased by $160,800 in maintenance and services due to increased consulting services
and fleet repairs.

 Public Works Maintenance Division increased by $142,268.
o Increased by $178,685 in salaries and includes a Project Manager position.
o Increased by $22,900 in maintenance and services for vehicle safety and warning lights.
 Public Works Roads Division increased by $712,877.
o Increased by $74,530 in supplies and materials for sign materials, a salt brine unit,
patching materials and pipe.
o Increased by $464,362 in capital equipment for a tractor with long reach attachment, skid
steer, dump truck and 4×4 pick-up truck with snow plow.

 Natural Resources increased by $102,235.
o Increased by $72,235 for Spongy Moth control and $30,000 for beach maintenance.

 Taxes Shared with Towns increased by $301,800.
o Increased by $300,000 for the pass through of the Income Tax distribution to the Towns.
 Grants to Towns increased by $334,776.
o Increased by $258,776 in grants to Towns over the prior year.
o Increased by $76,000 for restricted fire grant to the Towns based on the current formula.
 Insurance & Benefits increased by $1,954,163.
o Increased by $1,268,121 for Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) for a total of
$9,500,000. Additional OPEB is provided to the Board of Education for total County
OPEB funding of $12,368,146 in FY23.
o Increased by $290,036 for the retirement plan based on State rates.
o Increased by $256,711 for social security taxes based on the estimated payroll.
o Decreased by $84,125 for Workers’ Compensation insurance plan.
o Increased by $197,427 for Property & Liability insurance due to an increase in premium.
o Increased by $21,440 for Life Insurance.
 Salary accounts increased to include a 4% cost of living adjustment (COLA), a step increase and
longevity pay for those County employees that are eligible.

Board of Education
• The County allocation for the Board of Education’s (BOE) operating budget is $100,983,605, an
increase of $3,981,384 over the current year adopted budget as shown below. School
construction debt is paid by the County on behalf of the BOE. It is not reflected in the BOE’s
budget; however, it is included in the County’s operating budget. The BOE’s approved operating
budget of $100,983,605 plus debt service of $12,455,856 totals $113,439,461 or 50% of the
County’s total estimated revenue.