Now the town must figure out what, if anything, to do with a growing balance of $8.2 million.
Higher than expected income tax revenues in fiscal year 2013 made up most of a $2.2 million surplus for the year.
Income tax rates are set by the state of Maryland. Town Treasurer David Lublin said income tax revenues are hard to predict because the state doesn’t release information on revenues to municipalities for privacy reasons. The result was the second straight yearly budget surplus after two deficits in FY10 and FY11, mostly due to falling income tax revenues.
The town also received $130,297 in duplication fees from Montgomery County, mostly for road work the Town performed without the county’s assistance. There was a $39,432 grant from FEMA to help with the effects of the 2012 derecho storm. The Town also made $9,485 in parking ticket payments and off the five parking meters it controls on Willow Lane.
Figuring out something to do with the extra money has been an open question. It was a prominent issue in the most recent Town election, which saw Mayor Pat Burda re-elected and challenger John Bickerman brought on to the five-member Council.
Undergrounding power lines has been suggested and will be discussed at Wednesday’s monthly Council meeting. A public hearing on a request from the B-CC Rescue Squad for funding from the Town had been pushed off Wednesday’s agenda. The Town says it will notify residents of a rescheduled hearing date.
The Town also nixed a plan to provide a shuttle for residents to get to areas of downtown Bethesda.
Lublin said the Town is is organizing a community forum for residents to give ideas for new initiatives or services that would be paid for by the surplus.