May 3, 2024

Ready Report: Early Voting Underway & Carroll County Budget Public Hearing

Below is a bit of a lengthy weekly update which includes details on the Carroll County Commissioner’s proposed FY 2025 Budget and upcoming public hearing as well is information on early voting for the Presidential Primary election that is now underway.

Early Voting Begins in Carroll County

Early voting for the Primary Election runs May 2nd to May 9th with polls open from 7 AM to 8 PM. Anyone who is registered to vote may do so during early voting. Additionally, you can update your address, and register to vote during early voting. Here are the early voting locations:

  • Westminster Senior Center – 125 Stoner Avenue, Westminster
  • South Carroll Senior Center – 5928 Mineral Hill Road, Sykesville
  • Coppermine PantherPlex (Former North Carroll High School) – 1400 Panther Drive, Hampstead

I’ve had a number of people reach out to me for my thoughts about the offices on the ballot. There are three main offices on the Republican primary ballot including President, U.S. Senate and U.S. Congress. There are also Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the July Republican National Convention. NOTE – Board of Education will NOT be on the primary ballot because only four people filed for two spots – it WILL appear on the general election ballot and I’m supporting Greg Malveaux and Kristen Zihmer for those two open spots on Carroll’s Board of Education.

For the offices above I’m voting for the following:

President – President Donald Trump
U.S. Senate – Larry Hogan
U.S. Congress for CD 2 – Kim Klacik
For Delegate to the Republican National Convention in CD 2 –
Metzgar, Preece & Salling

Alternate Delegate to the Republican National Convention in CD 2 – Blitz, Collins & Fallon

If you live in Congressional District 3 (Southwest Carroll County), I’d recommend the following:

U.S. Congress – Berney Fowler
For Delegate to the Republican National Convention in CD 3 –
Furth, Loudon & Rutherford

Alternate Delegate to the Republican National Convention in CD 3 – Schuh, Thorton & White

Carroll County Commissioner Release Proposed FY2025 County Budget –

Last week the Carroll County Commissioners released their proposed budget. I’ve included the information that the county government sent out below with full details on the county budget proposal which includes funding for education, fire, public safety and roads but also does have a proposed property tax increase and recordation tax increase. THIS Monday evening (May 6th) is a public hearing at Carroll Community College where residents can give input and make their voice heard. Details are here:

The Board of County Commissioners has unveiled its proposed budget for fiscal year 2025, which begins July 1, 2024. The $541.6 million General Fund, which authorizes day-to-day expenses, sees a decrease of $1.2 million or 0.2% from FY2024. The budget proposes a two cent per 100 of assessed value property tax rate increase for FY2025 from 1.018 to 1.038. Real property tax rates were last increased in FY1997. The budget includes increases to the county’s Recordation Rate fee from $5.00/$500 to $6.50/$500 ($1.50/$500 increase). The Recordation Rate was last increased in FY2003. The proposed document also includes fee increases for utilities.

The proposed FY2025 Budget will be available for public viewing on the county’s website soon.

The commissioners made a number of significant additions, especially in education and public safety, including but not limited to:

  1. Increased funding to Carroll County Public School $6M more than the previously approved $7M increase (a total of $13M more than FY2024)
  2. Funding included for public safety pension benefit increases
  3. Additions to public safety positions in courts and State’s Attorney’s Office and added $9M of one-time funding to the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters project
  4. Added deputy chief of operations position and upgraded four shift commander positions to captains for the Department of Fire/EMS
  5. Increase to Carroll Community College $150K to support salary increases
  6. Increase Carroll County Public Library one-time funding 1.5%

The board also made some reductions in the FY2025 budget, including but not limited to:

  1. Reduces ongoing funding to Department of Fire/EMS of $2.8M
  2. Ag Preservation – ongoing reduction of $2.5M
  3. Eliminated 10 vacant county government positions
  4. With the exception of public safety related budgets, county department and other agency budgets held flat to FY2024 funding
  5. Reduced planned 5.5% increase for commissioner, courts, and State’s Attorney’s Office employees to 4% (budget maintains planned 4% increase for Sheriff’s Office)


Examples of the impact with the proposed two cent property tax increase:

Home Value:  $250,000         Tax Impact:    $50/year or $4.16/month
Home Value:  $350,000         Tax Impact:    $70/year or $5.83/month
Home Value:  $450,000         Tax Impact:    $90/year or $7.50/month

Proposed increase of $1.50/500 recordation rate impact examples:

Sale Price:       $250,000         Rate Impact:   $  750
Sale Price:       $350,000         Rate Impact:   $1050
Sale Price:       $450,000         Rate Impact:   $1350

A Recordation Fee is charged when registering a property’s transfer of ownership. These fees are a part of the bundle of expenses typically referred to as closing costs and only occur at property settlement.

Budget Public Hearing is scheduled on Monday, May 6, 2024, at 7:00 pm. at the Carroll Arts Center located at 91 W. Main Street in Westminster. The meeting will be live streamed for viewing purposes on the county’s YouTube channel, but participation must be in person. The recording will be available later the website and channel 24. Those unable to attend the public hearing but wishing to comment may submit any questions or concerns directly to Director Zaleski at [email protected].

Additional Budget Work Sessions may be held by the commissioners to make any modifications to the proposed budget based on the information received during the Budget Public Hearing.  These work sessions are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, May 14th and Thursday, May 16th.

The FY2025 budget adoption is planned for Tuesday, May 21st.

Upcoming Political Events in Carroll County:

May 14th – Primary Election Day –

Tuesday, May 14th is Primary Election Day with polls open from 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM at locations around Carroll & Frederick Counties (and the entire state). You can look up your polling location by clicking here.

May 19th – Delegate Tomlinson – 2nd Annual Session Recap Fundraiser

Delegate Tomlinson has a lot to share from the 2024 legislative session and that is why he will have his 2nd Annual Post-Legislative Session Recap on Sunday, May 19th at 3 p.m. at O’Lordans Irish Pub in Westminster. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

May 16th – Dr. Greg Malveaux for BOE – A Tribute to Marsha Herbert and Donna Sivigny

Dr. Greg Malveaux, one of two conservative candidates for Carroll County Board of Education, is hosting a tribute to two term limited members of the Board of Education, Marsha Herbert and Donna Sivigny on May 16th at the Union Mills Homestead. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

Have a great rest of your week!

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