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Baltimore County tax rate stays the same for 28th year

John Lee


The Baltimore County Council adopted Thursday a $2 billion budget for the next fiscal year that held the line on property taxes even though one revenue source declined.

The council voted last fall to phase out the storm water management fee, otherwise known as the dreaded "rain tax." At the time, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s chief of staff warned that could lead to cuts in schools, roads and parks.

Money to pay for storm water projects required for Chesapeake Bay cleanup was to come from that fee. Without it, the money would have to come from somewhere else. Kamenetz said the loss of the fee hurt, but he wasn’t specific.

"There are certain capital projects that have been delayed or deferred for road improvements," he said. "New highways, things like that that are very costly but we have to, again, make a choice if we want to maintain that stable tax rate."

The council made only minor changes to Kamenetz’s proposal.

Included in the spending plan is more than $3 million for arts institutions like the Walters Art Gallery and the Baltimore Symphony in the city. Officials said county residents made 687,000 visits to city arts and cultural attractions last year.