Facts about Calvert County
The Calvert County Planning Consultant will be beginning the rewrite of the Comprehensive Plan and zoning ordinance in 2016 and the Sustainable Calvert Network wants to lend assistance in finding information so that people can take informed positions.
County size and population. Calvert is the smallest county in the state, with approximately 140,000 acres including wetlands. The population was estimated to be 90,826 as of July 2015 according to the Maryland Department of Legislative Services. Between 1990 and 2010, Calvert grew 73%, the fastest in the state. However, after 2006, growth slowed to a more moderate pace.
County Financial Information. Maryland Association of Counties (MACO) provides annual reports that compare Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City in a report entitled Fiscal Year 2016 Report of County Budgets, Tax Rates & Selected Statistics. As per the report, the property tax remains at .8920 (unchanged since 1987). Calvert has the 4th lowest property tax rate in the state and its income tax rate is 2.80%, which is tied for the 7th lowest in the state (see page 12). On the other hand, Calvert has the 6th highest operating budget per capita, is ranked 8th in population density as per tables 2.2 and 3.1 of the MACO report. There is a correlation between population density and high operating budgets per capita. Three of the top five densest populations have the highest operating budgets. The more people per square mile the higher the costs for services. One reason that Calvert is able to keep taxes lower is that it has the highest value of personal property per capita (table 4.8) and the 9th highest value of real property (land) per capita (table 4.5). The County maintains a copy of its budget on its website.
Land Use. When the 1974 Comprehensive Plan was prepared, authors noted that there were 14,885 acres of developed land. That number increased to 51,013 according to the 2010 Comprehensive Plan. Forested acres actually increased between 1974 and 2010, from 52,695 to 64,211 while farm field acres decreased between 1974 and 2010, from 49,503 to 18,181.
Between 2007 and 2012,farmland acres finally showed a reversal in trends as there were 6,000 acres more of farmland. Economic prospects improved for farmers as more began to grow food and drink for local consumption.In addition, farming seems to have stabilized in areas where farmland has been preserved. The Calvert County Comprehensive Plan calls for preserving 40,000 acres of prime farm and forest land. According to the 2014 Calvert County Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan, the County had preserved 28,910 acres as of 2013.
Economy. According to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, Calvert was tied for the 5th lowest unemployment rate in Maryland in November 2015 at 4.4%. Counties with the lowest unemployment rates tend to be closest to metropolitan centers. Howard and Montgomery counties have the lowest unemployment rates. The U.S. Census reports that the median household income in Calvert is $95,477 (third highest in the state) and compared to the average in Maryland at $73,538.
Overall, the county is in good condition. The growth rate has stabilized. Taxes are low, Services are high. Unemployment rate is low and household income is high. We will have more information to present over the next few months. Stay tuned!
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