Town of University Park, MD
Prince George's County
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The Town shall operate on an annual budget. The fiscal year of the Town shall begin on the first day of July and shall end on the last day of June in each year. Such fiscal year shall constitute the tax year, the budget year, and the accounting year.
[Revised, effective 3-17-2009]
The Mayor shall prepare and submit a budget to the Council, on such date as the Council by Ordinance shall determine, but no later than the first day of April before the beginning of any fiscal year. The budget shall provide a complete financial plan for the budget year and shall contain estimates of anticipated revenues, including projected surplus revenues as defined in Section 606, and proposed expenditures for the coming year. The total of the anticipated revenues shall equal or exceed the total of the proposed expenditures. The budget shall be a public record in the office of the Clerk, open to public inspection by anyone at reasonable times during normal business hours.
[Revised 1-7-1991]
Before adopting the budget, the Council shall hold a public hearing thereon, after notice thereof in at least one newspaper having general circulation within the Town. Such notice and hearing shall comply with those requirements of Section 6-308 of the Tax-Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland concerning the constant yield tax rate. The Council may delete items, insert new items or may increase or decrease the items of the budget. Where the Council shall increase the total proposed expenditures, it shall also increase the total anticipated revenues in an amount at least equal to the total proposed expenditures. The budget shall be prepared and adopted in the form of an Ordinance on or before May 31st of each year. A favorable vote of at least a majority of the total elected membership of the Common Council shall be necessary for adoption. Upon adoption, the Town treasurer is authorized to notify Prince George's County of the Town's adopted tax rate. In the event the Town fails to adopt a tax rate by May 31st, the treasurer is authorized to notify Prince George's County that the tax rate for the new fiscal year shall be the same rate as the prior year. In the event the Council fails to adopt a budget by May 31st, it shall appropriate expenditures equal to the prior year's budget for personnel and operating expenses and shall continue to honor its carry-over contractual commitments and its financial obligation to its employees and officials in the new fiscal year.
Any transfer of funds between major appropriations for different purposes must be approved by the Common Council before becoming effective.
No officer or employee shall during any budget year expend or contract to expend any money or incur any liability or enter into any contract which by its terms involves the expenditure of money, for any purpose, in excess of the amount appropriated for or transferred to that general classification of expenditure pursuant to this Charter. Any contract, verbal or written, made in violation of this section shall be null and void. Nothing in this section contained, however, shall prevent the making of contracts or the spending of money for capital improvements to be financed in whole or in part by the issuance of bonds, nor the making of contracts of lease or for services for a period exceeding the budget year in which such contract is made, when such contract is permitted by law.
All appropriations shall lapse at the end of the budget year to the extent that they shall not have been expended or lawfully encumbered. Any unexpended and unencumbered funds shall be considered a surplus at the end of the budget year and shall be included among the anticipated revenues for the next succeeding budget year.
[Revised, effective 3-17-2009]
All checks issued in payment of salaries or other municipal obligations shall be signed by the Treasurer or, in his absence, by the mayor.
All real property within the corporate limits of the town shall be subject to taxation for municipal purposes. The assessment used for municipal taxation shall be the same as that for state and county taxes. The Town shall not by authority of this section impose taxes on property which is exempt from taxation by any Act of the General Assembly.
From the effective date of the budget, the amount stated therein as the amount to be raised by the property tax shall constitute a determination of the amount of the tax levy in the corresponding tax year.
[Revised, effective 3-17-2009]
Each year after the tax levy is made, a bill or account of the taxes due from him/her shall be mailed or delivered in person to each taxpayer or his agent at his last known address on or before August 15. This bill or account shall contain a statement of the amount of real property as well as business personal property with which the taxpayer is assessed, the amount of taxes due, and the date on which the taxes will bear interest. Failure to give or receive notice required by this section shall not relieve any taxpayer of the responsibility to pay all taxes levied on his property when due. The Treasurer shall notify residents of the University Park of the municipal tax rate by publication in the Town newsletter or by such other means as he/she deems appropriate.
The taxes provided for in Section 610 of this Charter shall be due and payable on the first of July in the year for which they are levied and shall be overdue and in arrears on the first day of the following October. They shall bear interest while in arrears at the rate prescribed by the Mayor and Common Council by Ordinance, or, if there is no Ordinance, at the rate for tax arrearage established by Prince George's County, Maryland, for each month or fraction of a month until paid. All taxes not paid and in arrears after the first day of the following January shall be collected as provided in Section 612.
[Revised, effective 3-17-2009]
A list of all property on which the Town taxes have not been paid and which are in arrears as provided by Section 611 of this Charter shall be submitted by the Treasurer to the official of the county responsibility for the sale of tax delinquent property as provided in State Law. All property listed thereon shall, if necessary, be sold for taxes by this county official, in the manner prescribed by State law or set forth in Article 81 of the Annotated Code of Maryland as amended.
The financial books and accounts of the Town shall be maintained in accordance with the rules of the Maryland Department of Fiscal Services or its successor, and audited annually in a manner determined by the Common Council but not contrary to applicable State law.
During the first six (6) months of any fiscal year, the Town shall, by Ordinance, have the power to borrow in anticipation of the collection of the property tax levied for that fiscal year, and to issue tax anticipation notes or other evidences of indebtedness as evidence of such borrowing. Such tax anticipation notes or other evidences of indebtedness shall be a first lien upon the proceeds of such tax and shall mature and be paid no later than six (6) months after the beginning of the fiscal year in which they are issued. No tax anticipation notes or other evidences of indebtedness shall be issued which will cause the total tax anticipation indebtedness of the Town to exceed fifty percent (50%) of the property tax levy for the fiscal year in which such notes or other evidence of indebtedness shall be authorized by Ordinance before being issued. The Common Council may regulate all matters concerning the issuance and sale of tax anticipation notes.
[Revised, effective 11-10-2009]
The Town may borrow money for any proper public purpose and to evidence such borrowing by the issuance and sale of its general obligation bonds, notes, or other certificates of indebtedness in the manner prescribed in Article 23A of the Annotated Code of Maryland (1957 edition, as amended) Any bonds issued under the authority of Article 23A, as amended from time to time, or under any other lawful authority heretofore or hereafter enacted, may be sold by the Town at private sale without advertising or publication of notice of sale or solicitation of competitive bids if the ordinances authorizing the issuance of such bonds shall so specify.
The power and obligation of the Town to pay any and all bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness issued by it shall be unlimited and the Town shall levy ad valorem taxes upon all the taxable property of the Town for the payment of such bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness and interest thereon. The faith and credit of the Town is hereby pledged for the payment of the principal of the interest on all bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness, hereafter issued under the authority of this Charter, whether or not such pledge be stated in the bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness, or in the Ordinance authorizing their issuance.
All bonds, motes or other evidences of indebtedness validly issued by the Town previous to the effective date of this Charter and all ordinances passed concerning them are hereby declared to be valid, legal and binding and of full force and effect as if herein fully set forth.
Purchases for the Town government shall be made by the Treasurer under the direction of the Mayor and Common Council. The Common Council may establish by Ordinance, rules and regulations regarding purchasing procedures including the use of competitive bids.
[Revised, effective 3-17-2009]
All contracts involving professional services such as accounting, architecture, auditing, engineering, law, planning, Town newsletter editor and surveying shall be negotiated by the Mayor and approved by the Common Council. The newsletter editor shall serve at the pleasure of the Mayor and Council.
[Revised, effective 4-23-2015]
[Effective 4-19-1994]
All funds reserved by the Council for a particular purpose shall be denoted by a specific reserve category and shall continue from fiscal year to fiscal year until further action of the Council. No such funds shall be expended, transferred to a budget line item, or transferred to and/or 29 combined with another specific or general reserve category without prior approval of the Council.