Town of Bel Air, MD
Harford County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
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.
a. 
Budget Submitted
The Town Administrator, on such date as the Board of Commissioners shall determine, but by at least the first meeting in April, shall submit a budget to the Board of Commissioners. The budget shall provide a complete financial plan for that fiscal year and shall contain estimates of anticipated revenues from sources other than taxes to be levied on real and personal property, an estimate of the assessable value of real and personal property subject to taxation by the Town and a tentative tax rate so computed thereon that the total revenue from all sources, other than special assessments, shall be equal to the total of the proposed expenditures other than expenditures to be recovered by special assessments.
b. 
Tentative Budget
The Board of Commissioners may insert new budget items, delete items, and increase or decrease the items of the budget so presented. The Board of Commissioners shall then adopt a tentative budget, which shall be adopted no later than the second Town meeting in April. The tentative budget shall be a public record of the office of the Director of Finance, open to public inspection by any resident or taxpayer of the Town of Bel Air during normal business hours.
c. 
Hearings
Before adopting the final budget, the Board of Commissioners shall hold a public hearing on the tentative budget between the fifteenth (15th) and thirty-first (31st) day of May after two weeks notice thereof has been published in some newspaper or newspapers with a general circulation within the Town.
d. 
Final Budget
After the public hearing, the Board of Commissioners may insert new items or may increase or decrease or delete any item of the budget. Where the Board shall increase the total proposed expenditures, it shall also increase the total anticipated revenue in an amount at least equal to such proposed expenditures other than expenditures to be recovered by special assessments.
The final budget for each fiscal year shall be prepared and adopted in the form of a budget resolution on or before the first day of June to become effective on the first day of July of such fiscal year. The favorable vote of at least a majority of the Board shall be necessary for the adoption of the final budget.
e. 
Special Assessment Budget Item for Cost of Construction and Improvements
At the time the Town Administrator is required to submit a budget to the Board of Commissioners, the Town Administrator shall also submit to the Board of Commissioners as a separate budget item a complete estimate of the cost of construction and improvements proposed for the budget year for which a special assessment can legally be levied and the estimated receipts from special assessments. In such budget items anticipated receipts shall be first applied to amortization of indebtedness incurred for construction and improvements made under this item in previous budgets and then anticipated receipt remaining shall be applied to the estimated cost of construction and improvements to be made under this item in the proposed budget. Any deficit shall be met by borrowing as follows: by loan from an amount appropriated in the general section of the budget with interest at a rate to be determined by the Board of Commissioners but not to exceed eight per centum (8%) per annum on the unpaid balance, or by a loan made on certificates of indebtedness, or bonds issued on the full faith and credit of the Town of Bel Air.
The Town of Bel Air may issue certificates of indebtedness or bonds issued on the full faith and credit of the Town of Bel Air from time to time to provide working capital under the special assessment budget item.
All costs of any construction or improvements (including interest on any sums borrowed from whatever source) provided for by the special assessment budget item shall be covered by a special assessment levied against the property thereby affected at a rate sufficient to repay the costs over such period as the Board of Commissioners may elect, not however to exceed ten (10) years.
No public money may be expended without having been appropriated by the Board of Commissioners. From the effective date of the budget, the several amounts stated therein as proposed expenditures shall become appropriated to the several objects and purposes named therein.
Any transfer of funds by the Town Administrator between appropriations for different purposes shall be approved by a majority of the Board of Commissioners 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 involved the expenditure of money for any purchase, in excess of the amounts appropriated for or transferred to that general classification of expenditure pursuant to this Charter. Any contract, verbal or written, made in violation of the Charter of Bel Air shall be null and void. Nothing in this Section contained, however, shall prevent the making of a contract 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 or spending 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 all or part thereof may be included among the anticipated revenues for the next succeeding budget year or retained as a contingent fund, at the discretion of the Board of Commissioners.