2022 | Gaithersburg

Gaithersburg considering $72.4 million budget for the next fiscal year

Spending would rise 3.2% from this year; property tax rate would stay the same

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Gaithersburg’s city manager is proposing a $72.4 million budget for Fiscal Year 2023 — 3.2% higher than the current fiscal year budget.

Among the anticipated changes are an increase in local tax revenue, more money through a taxation settlement with Montgomery County and an increase in spending on personnel services.

Gaithersburg’s property tax rate of 26.2 cents per $100 of assessed property will stay the same for FY 23. But some residents could pay higher taxes due to property reassessments.

Every year, one-third of properties in Montgomery County are reassessed. In 2022, one-third of properties in the county are increasing an average of about 11%, according to state assessment figures.

City Manager Tanisha Briley presented the budget to Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council at their meeting Monday night.

It includes $61.3 million for personnel services, which is about $3 million more than was spent in the FY 22 budget. Personnel services items include:

  • Nearly $17 million for public works
  • $10.4 million for the Gaithersburg Police Department
  • $10.7 million for parks, recreation and culture
  • $4.1 million for community and public relations
  • $2.6 million for the Office of the City Manager
  • $2.5 million for information technology
  • $2 million for finance and administration

The city is also transferring less money into its Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) fund for retired workers. For FY 23, the city is transferring $1.6 million into the fund, compared to $3.4 million in FY 22.

Briley said Monday that some of the increases in spending are:

  • Six new positions in the city and three positions that have been upgraded/reclassified
  • A 4% general wage increase
  • Additional education and professional development opportunities
  • A city website upgrade project
  • A zoning code review

Briley said she anticipates an increase in fuel costs for city vehicles, given the recent nationwide increase in gas prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Briley said there will be more recreational programming in FY 23 that was largely absent the last two years due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

“We are moving into our ‘living with COVID’ mode, and we’ve obviously not been at full capacity in a lot of our parks and recreation programming, for example. … And so the FY 23 budget shows a restoration of those programs, which also increases the corresponding costs.”

On the revenue side, the city is expected to generate $34.9 million in local tax revenue in FY 23, a 9.8% increase from the current fiscal year.

The city is also expected to receive about $2 million more in tax duplication money, Budget Manager Nathan Bassett said in response to a question from Council Member Jim McNulty.

The increase comes after County Executive Marc Elrich signed legislation this month that increases the amount of money the county reimburses municipalities for services.

The council is scheduled to hold a work session on the budget March 28, and is expected to vote on its adoption May 16.

Members of the public can make comments through April 27 by calling 301-258-6310 or emailing them to cityhall@gaithersburgmd.gov.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com