Cecil County Proposes Budget with Unprecedented Tax Relief and Public Investment

Cecil CountyImage via Cecil County Government

ELKTON, MD — The woman at the helm of Cecil County’s fiscal future, County Executive Danielle Hornberger, recently disclosed plans for the FY 2025 budget, painting a promising picture of the fiscal year ahead. The proposed budget promises both tax relief and vital community investments, a rare fiscal combo hoped to invigorate the County’s robust economic growth.

The budget, totaling over $446.7 million and comprised of $364.2 million for operations and over $82.5 million in capital funding, is a strategic attempt to enhance Cecil County’s esteemed “Aa1” bond credit rating. This rating, a badge of financial honor held by merely thirty other jurisdictions across the nation, enables the county to undertake crucial infrastructure projects at lower interest rates, translating to millions of dollars in savings for taxpayers.

“Good budgeting is really about striking the right balance. A balance that enables us to provide the services our citizens need, whilst ensuring they can afford to make Cecil County their home,” County Executive Danielle Hornberger said. “We’ve not only managed to engineer tax cuts four years in a row but also ensured the inclusion of a $10 million property tax credit for our homeowners. It’s an immense source of pride knowing we’ve returned a total of $45 million to the people I serve – our industrious citizens – in my four-year tenure.”

Standout features of the budget include significant tax reductions, putting a substantial $11.7 million back into the pockets of Cecil County taxpayers. In addition to a fourth consecutive year of real property tax rate and personal property (business) tax rate cuts, the income tax rate has been lowered for the third consecutive year. A strategic move to offset the sting of increased State property assessments, the budget features a $10 million property tax credit refund for eligible Cecil County homeowners.

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Education takes center stage with a landmark funding allocation for Cecil County Public Schools (CCPS). Totaling $120.3 million – $9 million more than last year – these funds will ensure the protection of teacher positions and critical student-based programs such as gifted and talented, sports, music, and the arts. Additionally, the county aims to reduce classroom sizes with the new budget, which will allow for the hiring of new teachers.

The budget earmarks $13.3 million for the construction of the new North East Middle and High School complex, along with $5 million for educational facility capital improvements. This sum represents an additional investment of $2.5 million to expedite the completion of the new school complex.

Public safety is also a significant focus in the budget, with $13.2 million allocated for a new public safety training center, the addition of two paramedic stations, three ambulances, innovative Computer Aided Dispatch software, and new facilities for the Sheriff’s Headquarters. The budget also greenlights the hiring of additional staff for the Cecil County Department of Emergency Services and Sheriff’s Office.

The FY 25 budget extends its hand to several other key areas. Investments are set to boost Cecil College, amplify the resources of the Cecil County Public Library, and drive numerous infrastructure and public works projects. Notable among these are roadway improvements aimed at detouring tractor trailers off residential streets, road resurfacing, repaving, and surface maintenance.

“This budget is the product of countless hours of careful assessment and planning. It reflects the needs and expectations of Cecil County families and taxpayers, thanks to valuable input from them and community stakeholders,” Hornberger explained. “Ultimately, our proposal is one that truly balances the needs of our community with the expectations of our hardworking taxpayers.”

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To peruse the proposed FY 2025 budget in more detail, visit the Cecil County Government’s official website.

Kindly note that this article has been revised. MyChesCo initially stated that the suggested funding for the upcoming North East Middle and High School was $18.3 million. The accurate sum allocated for the facility stands at $13.3 million. The $18.3 million total encompasses the new school project ($13.3 million) and an additional $5 million designated for educational facility capital enhancements.

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