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Bowie is on a "pay as you go" model, meaning that the City does not spend funds that it does not have or were not budgeted. There are specific debt policies which guide the City Council. Bowie enjoys a AAA credit rating.
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The combined (state, county, and city) property tax rate for a Bowie resident is $1.6860 per $100 of assessed value for fiscal year 2023. This is up from the 2022 rate of $1.6800. While the Bowie property tax rate has been stable for the last thirteen years, residents may have seen their tax bills increase due to higher property assessments and the fact that Prince George’s County raised its property tax rate by $.04 in fiscal year 2016. Property assessments are developed by the State of Maryland and are based on market rates.
The City's fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.
The budget process begins in December and the budget is adopted in May.
Bowie gets its income from general property taxes, state shared revenue, licenses, permits, fees, fines, service charges, and funds from other agencies.
Correspond with the City Manager, and/or elected Councilmembers any time during the year. Attend one of the public meetings (usually on Monday nights) and make comments to City Council during the Citizen Participation or Public Hearing portion of the meeting.
Bowie uses its funds for general government expenses, economic development, public safety, social services, public works, parks, culture, and recreation.
Sixty percent of the fees from speed cameras goes to the City general fund and helps offset the cost of the Police Department and 40% is used for administration and maintenance of the cameras.
Bowie has two budgets: the operating budget and the capital budget. Both funds are covered by regular sources of income and are allocated by City Council each year depending on the planned improvements. At times, the City might issue a bond for a major capital expense.
No. The local water system covers only some of the neighborhoods in Bowie. All costs for the operation of the Water Plant and capital improvements are covered by the billings that go out to the users of the Bowie Water System. The State of Maryland has increased the Bay Restoration Fee that appears on your water bill and these funds are sent to the State.
Bowie maintains a reserve fund to provide a cushion in the event of unanticipated expenditures such as snow removal. These reserve funds may be used to balance the budget. If necessary, the tax rate may be increased.
Bowie continues to implement programs that reduce energy consumption or that enhance the environment.
In the past, Prince George’s County provided police coverage for Bowie. This changed when Bowie voted to start its own police force in 2005. The City Police Department is fully funded by the City’s general fund. However, the department receives State and County funding to offset some of its expenditures. The department continues to work in partnership with the Prince George’s County Police Department. This partnership includes sharing training opportunities, joint initiatives, and information sharing.
The City does not pay for the Fire Department. This responsibility is handled by the County and paid with County taxes. The City provides a contribution, usually over $200,000 a year, to the Volunteer Fire Department for the purpose of purchasing and maintaining equipment.
Fees are charged to participants, but in order to keep the fees low, the City provides additional funding out of the general fund to cover the cost of the Gymnasium and Ice Arena.