The Baltimore County Council is scheduled to vote to approve $258,000 in cuts to the $1.6 billion general fund budget at a meeting that begins at 10 a.m.
The cuts to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's first proposed budget amount to a reduction of less than two-hundredths of a percent—one of the second smallest cuts in two decades.
The budget is expected to hold the line on property and income tax rates—neither of which have been increased in two decades.
One of the largest reductions, about $120,000, came from the Department of Public Works. The majority of the cuts, about $112,000, came from what was called a miscalculation in gas and electric expenses.
The council halved a $110,500 proposed cut that would have, in part, paid for a lawn mower for Robert E. Lee Park. The council and auditor said they expect the county will make up the difference through a separate fund for such equipment.
The council also cut nearly $24,000 from the sheriff's budget, including half of a nearly $37,700 line item for salary savings from positions that are expected to go unfilled.
The council can only cut the budget. It is prohibited from moving money or adding to the annual spending plan.
The legislative body can use its budget message to make its priorities and concerns clear to the county executive and department heads.
Two issues that could come up in the council budget message related to the restoration of nearly 200 teaching positions in the county schools system and restoration of funding for the Maryland Food Bank.
The council pressed Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Joe A. Hairston to commit to restoring the teaching positions should his budget have a surplus. The cost of the teacher positions is estimated at nearly $16 million.
Hairston declined to agree to the request, saying he expects the next budget year to be even tougher than this one.
The council also made largely symbolic cuts to some city-based arts and nonprofit groups. The 10 percent reductions on programs receiving $50,000 or less in county grants only netted a reduction of about $27,000.
Councilman David Marks, a Republican, suggested the cuts after many on the council expressed concern about funding such groups at the same time the county eliminated a $250,000 grant to the Maryland Food Bank.
Marks said two weeks ago that he would like the council to use its budget message to ask Kamenetz to restore the money to the food bank.