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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Worcester County institutes first hiring freeze since ‘08

(March 12, 2015) During the closed session preceding its meeting last week, the Worcester County Commissioners voted to institute a hiring freeze until the end of the budget session later this spring.
The county attributed the decision to “another challenging budget year due to a continued decline in projected property tax revenues,” according to a release from Public Information Officer Kim Moses.
“County revenues are anticipated to dip from $178 million in the current fiscal year (FY15) to $167 million in FY16 unless significant budget stabilization funds are utilized,” Commissioner President Jim Bunting stated in the release. “The county has lost over $40 million in property tax revenues since fiscal year 2009 due to declining assessments, and property tax revenues are projected to decline by another $4 million in FY16.”
The commissioners have taken this action, according to Moses, to avoid having to use all of the remaining budget stabilization funds to balance their operating budget in FY16.
Some 61 county employees are currently eligible to retire, according to the county, and Moses said she expects between 12-15 employees to avail themselves of the option.
The last time the county instituted a hiring freeze was in 2008, Moses said, and furloughs as well as a previous freeze was instituted in the early 1990s.