Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, along with the Prince George’s County Charter, have prepared Baker’s fiscal year 2016 (FY 2016) Proposed Operating and Capital Budgets.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker’s proposed FY 2016 budget calls for increased spending on education and public safety.

The proposed FY 2016 budget, for all funds, totals $3.63 billion, representing a $197 million increase over FY 2015. This increase is funded by proposed rate increases to the real property, personal property, telecommunications, and hotel tax rates, to cover increased funding to education and public safety priorities.

“As we all know, education and public safety are the two key quality of life issues that attract people to live in any jurisdiction and the most sought after counties in this region, this state, and this nation are the ones that are safe and have the best public education systems,” Baker said in a news release. “Our continued growth and success rely heavily upon the perception that our streets and neighborhoods are safe, and that our school system is improving and can compete with neighboring jurisdictions. The proposed FY 2016 budget shows that Prince George’s County is serious about education and we understand that a great school system is the most important investment that this generation can do for our children.”

In this budget, Baker focuses on three key points: achieving academic improvements in K-12 education across all public schools, maintaining Prince George’s County commitment to providing a full range of public services, and ensuring long-term financial integrity.

The FY 2016 includes an education revenue package for a significant investment in the Prince George’s County Public School System. This will infuse an additional $135.7 million in the school system.

The FY 2016 includes a 5-7 percent hotel tax increase purported to help grow the travel and tourism industry and make the county competitive with other Maryland jurisdictions. This should generate approximately $3.1 million in additional revenue, according to the county executive’s press release.

There will be an increase in various building, licensing, and related permitting and technology fees to allow investments and commitments of improving customer service, and to support technology upgrades at the one-stop shop within the Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement.

The FY 2016 will continue support for the human services agencies delivery systems, resulting in better access to care and services for county residents. It also provides additional resources to assist vulnerable populations, like veterans, and to improve responses to domestic violence.

“The FY 2016 proposed operating budget provides a framework for propelling the County into new heights and structurally rebalancing our budget,” Baker said in the news release. “The proposed measures are bold yet necessary in order to ensure the fiscal health and future of our County. These proposed actions require sacrifices by everyone – residents, businesses and county employees. However, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to transforming this County into a premier and nationally recognized jurisdiction.”

The FY 2016 Proposed Budget was submitted to the Prince George’s County Council. The Council must adopt the FY 2016 Proposed Budget on or before June 1. Council Chairman Mel Franklin confirmed that he has received Baker’s FY2016 budget proposal.

“The County Budget must reflect the shared priorities of our constituents and advance a vision that will ultimately bring the world to Prince George’s County,” Franklin said in a press release. “The Council, in our role as fiscal stewards, along with the Legislative Branch staff, looks forward to collaboratively working with the County Executive and his team to produce a final budget that incorporates fiscal responsibility, while making key investments strengthening the communities we represent.”