Section 33-40 Treasurer Appointment Compensation
There shall be a Treasurer appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Council. He shall serve at the pleasure of the Council. His compensation shall be determined by the Council. The Treasurer shall be the financial officer of the Town. The financial powers of the Town, except as otherwise provided by this Charter, shall be exercised by the Treasurer under the direct supervision of the Mayor. (Charter Resolution Number 10, November 16, 2005; Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 40.)
Section 33-41 Same: Powers & Duties
Under the supervision of the Mayor, the Treasurer shall have authority and shall be required to:
(1) Prepare at the request of the Mayor an annual budget to be submitted by the Mayor to the Council.
(2) Supervise and be responsible for the disbursement of all moneys as directed by the Mayor and Council and establish controls over all expenditures to assure that budget appropriations are not exceeded.
(3) Maintain a general accounting system for the Town in such form as the Council may require, not contrary to State law.
(4) Submit at the end of each fiscal year, and at such other times as the Council may require, a complete financial report to the Council through the Mayor.
(5) Ascertain that all taxable property within the Town is assessed for taxation.
(6) Collect all taxes, special assessments, license fees, liens, and all other revenues of the Town, and all other revenues for whose collection the Town is responsible, and receive any funds receivable by the Town.
(7) Have custody of all public moneys, belonging to or under the control of the Town, except as to funds in the control of any set of trustees, and have custody of all bonds and notes of the Town.
(8) Do such other things in relation to the fiscal or financial affairs of the Town as the Mayor or the Council may require or as may be required elsewhere in this Charter. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 41.)
Section 33-42 Same: Bond
The Treasurer shall provide a bond with such corporate surety and in such amount as the Mayor and Council by ordinance may require. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 42.)
Section 33-43 Fiscal Year
The Town shall operate on an annual budget. The fiscal year of the Town shall begin on the first day of January and shall end on the last day of December in each year. Such fiscal year shall constitute the tax year, the budget year, and the accounting year. Provided, however, that by July 1, 1966, the fiscal year, tax year, budget year, and accounting year shall begin on the first day of July and shall end on the last day of June so as to comply with the requirements of Chapter 825, Laws of Maryland, 1963. (Charter Resolution Number1. August 21, 1963, section 43.)
Section 33-44 Budget; Preparation
The Mayor, on such date as the Council shall determine, but at least thirty-two days before the beginning of any fiscal year, shall submit a budget to the Council. The budget shall provide a complete financial plan for the budget year and shall contain estimates of anticipated revenues 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 Treasurer, open to public inspection by anyone during normal business hours. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 44.)
Section 33-45 Same; Adoption
Before adopting the budget the Council shall hold a public hearing thereon after two weeks notice thereof in some newspaper or newspapers having general circulation within the municipality. The Council may 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 such total proposed expenditures. The budget shall be prepared and adopted in the form of a resolution. A favorable vote of at least four members of the Council shall be necessary for adoption. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 45.)
Section 33-46 Appropriations
No public money may be expended without having been appropriated by the Council. From the effective date of the budget, the several amounts stated therein as proposed expenditures shall be and become appropriated to the several objects and purposes named therein. (Charter Resolution Number 1. August 21, 1963, section 46.)
Section 33-47 Transfer of Funds
Any transfer of funds between major appropriations for different purposes by the Mayor must be approved by the Council before becoming effective. (Charter Resolution Number1, August 21, 1963, section 47.)
Section 33-48 Over-Expenditures Forbidden
No officer or employees 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 amounts appropriated for or transferred to that general classification of expenditure pursuant to this Charter. Any contract, verbal or written, made in violation of this Charter 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. (Charter Resolution Number 1. August 21. 1963, section 48.)
Section 33-49 Appropriations Lapse
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. (Charter Resolution Number 1. August 21, 1963, section 49.)
Section 33-50 Checks
All checks issued in payment of salaries or other municipal obligations shall be issued and signed by the Treasurer and shall be countersigned by the Mayor. (Charter Resolution Number 4, November 16, 2005; Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 50.)
Section 33-51 Taxable Property
All real property and all tangible personal property within the corporate limits of the Town, or personal property which may have a situs there by reason of the residence of the owner therein, shall be subject to taxation for municipal purposes, and the assessment used shall be the same as that for State and County taxes. Provided, however, that household furniture and effects held for household use of the owners or members of his family, and not held or employed for the purposes of profit or in connection with any business, profession, or occupation shall not be subject to taxation for municipal purposes. No authority is given by this section to impose taxes on any property which is exempt from taxation by any Act of the General Assembly. (Charter Resolution Number1, August 21, 1963, section 51.)
Section 33-52 Budget Authorizes Levy
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. (Charter Resolution Number 1, 1963, section 52; Charter Resolution Number 2, January 19, 1966 (See note (2)); Resolution May 8, 1969; Resolution Number 2, September 15, 1982.)
Section 33-53 Notice of Tax Levy
Immediately after the levy is made by the Council in each year, the Treasurer shall give notice of the making of the levy by posting a notice thereof in some public place or places in the Town. He shall make out and mail or deliver in person to each taxpayer or his agent at his last known address a bill or account of the taxes due from him. This bill or account shall contain a statement of the amount of real and personal property with which the taxpayer is assessed, the rate of taxation, the amount of taxes due, and the date on which the taxes will bear interest. Failure to give or receive any notice required by this section shall not relieve any taxpayer of the responsibility to pay on the dates established by this Charter all taxes levied on his property. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 53.)
Section 33-54 Tax Sales
The taxes provided for in Section 33–52 of this Charter shall be due and payable on the dates specified, and with interest as specified in Article 81, Section 48, of the Annotated Code of Maryland, as the provisions of that Article and Section may be amended from time to time. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 54; Resolution 1, 8–3–83.)
Section 33-55 Tax Sales
A list of all property on which the Town taxes have not been paid and which are in arrears as provided by Section 33–54 of this Charter shall be turned over by the Treasurer to the official of the County responsible 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. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 55.)
Section 33-56 Fees
All fees received by an officer or employee of the Town government in his official capacity shall belong to the Town government and be accounted for to the Town. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 56.)
Section 33-57 Audits
The financial books and accounts of the Town shall be audited annually by a certified public accountant selected by the Mayor and Council. (Charter Resolution Number1, August 21, 1963, section 57.)
During the first six months of any fiscal year, the Town shall 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 not later than six 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 per centum (50%) of the property tax levy for the fiscal year in which such notes or other evidences of indebtedness are issued. All tax anticipation notes or other evidences of indebtedness shall be authorized by resolution before being issued. The Council shall have the power to regulate; all matters concerning the issuance and sale of tax anticipation notes. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 58.)
Section 33-59 Borrowing Power
The Town shall have the power to borrow money for any proper public purpose and to evidence such borrowing by the issue and sale of its general obligation bonds, notes, or other certificates of indebtedness in the manner prescribed in Sections 31 to 37, both inclusive, of Article 23A of the Annotated Code of the Public General Laws of Maryland (1957 edition, as amended,) title "Municipal Corporations," subtitle "Creation of Municipal Public Debt" with the following exceptions:
(1) No bonds may be issued for longer than a twenty year period.
(2) The requirement for competitive bidding contained in Section 34(4) of Article 23A shall not apply to the Town of Forest Heights, but the Council shall have the option, in each instance, to determine whether such bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness shall be sold at public sale as prescribed by Section 34(4) or shall be sold by negotiation at private sale without solicitation or competitive bids.
Provided, however, that the total amount of such bonds, notes, or other certificates of indebtedness outstanding at any one time shall not exceed ten per centum (10%) of the assessed valuation of all real and personal property in the Town as appears on the assessment records of Prince George's County, and that the interest rate on such bonds, notes, or other certificates of indebtedness shall be obtained at the lowest possible rate. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 59; Resolution October 9, 1969.)
Section 33-60 Referendum on Storm Drainage Improvements
In any one year the Town shall not issue bonds or other obligations of indebtedness for storm water or surface drainage improvements in an amount in excess of one-half of one per centum (0.5%) of the assessed valuation of the Town unless submitted to a referendum of the qualified voters of the Town and approved by a majority of those persons voting on the question. The referendum may be held at a regular municipal election or at a special election called for that purpose. If the majority of the qualified voters voting on the question vote in favor of the bond issue, then the bonds may be issued. If the majority of the qualified voters voting on the question vote against the bond issue, the Mayor and Council shall abandon the same, and no similar proposition shall again be submitted to referendum until at least one year shall have elapsed from the date of election at which said proposition was disapproved. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 60.)
Section 33-61 Payment of Indebtedness
The power and obligation of the Town to pay any and all bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness issued by it under the authority of this Charter shall be unlimited and the Town may levy either ad valorem taxes or special assessments upon all taxable property of the Town or portion thereof for the payment of such bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness and interest thereon, without limitation of amount. The faith and credit of the Town is hereby pledged for the payment of the principal of and the interest on all bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness, hereafter issued under the authority of this Charter, whether of [or] not such pledge be stated in the bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness, or in the ordinance or resolution authorizing their issuance. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 61.)
Section 33-62 Previous Issues
All bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness validly issued by the Town previous to October 10, 1963, and all ordinances or resolutions passed concerning them are hereby declared to be valid, legal, and binding and of full force and effect as if herein fully set forth. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 62.)
Section 33-63 Purchases & Contracts
(a) Competitive bids. All purchases and contracts for the Town government shall be made by the Mayor and Council. The Council may provide by ordinance for rules and regulations regarding the use of competitive bidding and contracts for all Town purchases and contracts.
(b) Over $10,000. All expenditures for supplies, materials, equipment, construction of improvements, or contractual service involving more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) shall be made on written contract. The Mayor and Council shall be required to advertise for sealed bids for all such written contracts. (Charter Amend Resolution Number34, November 2, 2009) (c) Award of bids. Such written contracts shall be awarded to the bidder who offers the lowest or best bid, quality of goods and work, time of delivery or completion, and responsibility of bidders being considered. All such written contracts shall be approved by the Council before becoming effective. The Mayor and Council shall have the right to reject all bids and readvertise. The Town at any time in its discretion may employ its own forces for the construction or reconstruction of public improvements without advertising for (or readvertising for) or receiving bids.
(d) Surety bonds. All written contracts may be protected by such bonds, penalties, and conditions as the Town may require.
(e) Exceptions. All contracts involving professional services such as accounting, architecture, auditing, engineering, law, planning, and surveying, shall not be on a bid basis, but shall be negotiated by the Council. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 63; Res., October 9, 1969.) (f) Cooperative purchasing. In the event the state of Maryland, Prince George's County, or any other local government of the State of Maryland, the metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, or one (1) of its member governments, or the U.S. communities government purchasing alliance, or any association of Maryland local governments, provided that such local government or association has adopted procurement regulations that are comparable to those enacted by the town, has conducted a bid and awarded a contract authorizing local governments to purchase a bid item at the bid price, the mayor and council may, without soliciting bids, purchase the item in question at the bid price from the successful bidder, if the mayor and council determines that the bid price is competitive. The mayor shall, at least seven days prior to purchasing a service or goods pursuant to this subsection, and receive affirmative approval of at least 4 councilpersons prior to making purchase. No single cooperative purchase shall exceed $25,000 without a waiver by the council of the bidding process required by this section for good cause shown. (Charter Amend Resolution Number 34, November 2, 2009)