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Olszewski promises no tax hike in next year’s budget

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Credit: John Lee
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. Credit: John Lee

There will be no tax rate increase in Baltimore County this coming year.

That’s the promise from Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski.

“Absolutely not,” Olszewski said, adding that tax increases are “not on the table at all.”

“That’s welcome news,” Republican County Councilman David Marks said in a statement. “As families struggle with inflation, the last thing they need is a property tax increase.”

Olszewski’s administration is working on next year’s budget, which he will present to the county council in mid-April.

Olszewski raised taxes during his first year in office in 2019 to close an $81 million budget shortfall. But the county’s financial outlook has changed, in part due to an infusion of $160 million in federal COVID-19 money.

“We believe in continued responsibility in governing, and so we never want to spend beyond our means, but when we have resources that are available we want to make those critical investments,” Olszewski said.

At budget town halls he’s been holding throughout the county, Olszewski said people are asking him to spend more on schools, roads and parks, the bread and butter of local government.

Olszewski’s next budget town hall is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16 on the Catonsville campus of the Community College of Baltimore County.

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2