Harford County executive's budget proposal represents 9.8 percent decrease over last year's budget

BEL AIR, Md. - Harford County Executive David R. Craig unveiled his operating and capital budget proposals for 2015, which represent a nearly 10 percent decrease over last year’s budgets.

Craig is proposing to decrease the county’s general fund by $8.9 million, or 1.8 percent. But he wants to increase funding for the Board of Education by $2.3 million. He also wants to increase funding in the Sheriff’s Office and the Humane Society.

Money for the county’s volunteer firefighters and Harford Community college remained flat, while Craig decreased funding for pay-as-you-go projects, debt service and various other county departments.

Overall, the total budget for 2015 went down by $79.6 million, or 9.8 percent. There are no increases in taxes, and no raises for county employees.

“While we were able to make some reductions in spending on general government operations and on capital projects, we have demonstrated our strong commitment to education and public safety, which account for 76 cents of every general fund dollar,” Craig said in a news release Tuesday.

The Harford County Council will hold a series of budget work sessions with representatives of each county department and agency. The council will also hold public hearings on the budget. The council must pass the budget by June 15.    

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