THE OFFICE OF CLERK-TREASURER
[Amended 4-26-1991 by Res. No. 91-4; 8-12-2013 by Charter Res. No. 2013-02]
There shall be a Clerk-Treasurer hired by the Mayor and Council. The Clerk-Treasurer shall serve at the pleasure of the Mayor and Council. The Mayor and Council may also hire such Assistant Clerk-Treasurers as they may deem necessary. They shall serve at the pleasure of the Mayor and Council. Their compensation shall be determined by the Council. The Clerk-Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of the town. The financial powers of the town, except as otherwise provided by this Charter, shall be exercised by the Clerk-Treasurer under the direct supervision of the Town Manager. Assistant Clerk-Treasurers shall assist the Clerk-Treasurer in the exercise and administration of the Clerk-Treasurer's powers and duties under the direct supervision of the Clerk-Treasurer and the Town Manager.
[Amended 8-12-2013 by Charter Res. No. 2013-02]
Under the supervision of the Town Manager, the Clerk-Treasurer shall have authority and shall be required to:
Prepare at the request of the Town Manager an annual budget to be submitted by the Mayor to the Council.
Supervise and be responsible for the disbursement of all moneys and have control over all expenditures to assure that budget appropriations are not exceeded.
Maintain a general accounting system for the town in such form as the Council may require, not contrary to state law.
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 Town Manager.
Ascertain that all taxable property within the Town is assessed for taxation.
Collect all taxes, special assessments, license fees, liens and all other revenues (including utility revenues) of the town and all other revenues for whose collection the town is responsible and receive any funds receivable by the town.
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.
Do such other things in relation to the fiscal or financial affairs of the town as the Mayor and Council may require or as may be required elsewhere in this Charter.
The Clerk-Treasurer and the Assistant Clerk-Treasurer shall provide a bond with such corporate surety and in such amounts as the Council by ordinance may require. Said bond shall be paid for by the town.
THE MUNICIPAL BUDGET
The town shall operate on an annual budget. 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.
The Mayor, on such date as the Council by ordinance shall determine, but at least 32 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 Clerk-Treasurer, open to public inspection by anyone during normal business hours.
Before adopting the budget, the Council shall have a public hearing thereon after two weeks' notice thereof in some newspaper or newspapers having a general circulation within the municipality. The Council may insert new items or may increase or decrease the items of the budget. If the Council increases the total proposed expenditures, it shall also increase the total anticipated revenues in an amount at least equal to the total proposed expenditures. The budget shall be prepared and adopted in the form of a resolution. A favorable vote of at least a majority of the total elected membership of the Council is necessary for adoption.
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.
[Amended 12-1-2014 by Charter Res. No. 2014-01]
Any transfer of funds between major appropriations for different purposes must be approved by the Mayor and Council 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 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 or notes, 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 laws.
All appropriations shall lapse at the end of the budget year to the extent that they shall have not 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.
[Amended 4-26-1991 by Res. No. 91-4; 6-20-2013 by Charter Res. No. 2013-01]
The authorized signatories of all checks issued in payment of salaries or other municipal obligations shall be the Mayor, the Vice President of the Council (Vice Mayor), and the Town Manager. All such checks must be signed by two of the three foregoing individuals in order to be valid.
[Amended 4-26-1991 by Res. No. 91-4; 3-10-2005 by Res. No. 05-01; 12-1-2014 by Charter Res. No. 2014-01]
Purchases for the town government may be made by the Town Manager, Clerk-Treasurer and heads of the departments up to a maximum of $1,000 with appropriately approved purchase order. Extraordinary purchases exceeding this maximum must be approved by the Mayor and Council before obligating the town to such purchases. The Mayor and Council may provide by ordinance or resolution for rules and regulations regarding the use of competitive bidding and contracts for all town purchases and contracts. All expenditures for supplies, materials, equipment, construction of public improvements or contractual service involving more than $5,000 shall be made on written contract. The Clerk-Treasurer shall be required to advertise for sealed bids, in such manner as may be prescribed by ordinance, for all such written contracts. Such written contracts shall be awarded to the bidder who offers the lowest or best bid, quality of goods or 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 any and all bids. All written contracts shall be protected by such bonds, penalties and conditions as the town may require.
The Town of Rock Hall shall have the power to borrow money for any proper public purpose and to evidence such borrowing by the issuance and sale of its general obligation bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness in the manner prescribed in this section.
As determined by or provided for in the authorizing ordinance or resolution of the Mayor and Council, the bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness of the town may be issued and sold:
By private (negotiated) sale without advertisement or solicitation of competitive bids or by the solicitation of competitive bids at public sale after publication of the notice of sale in the manner prescribed by public general law (which competitive bids may be delivered by electronic or facsimile means or by any other commercially reasonable manner determined by the Mayor and Council by ordinance or resolution);
For a price or prices which may be at, above or below the par value of the bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness;
At a rate of interest or rates of interest that may be fixed or variable or may be determined by a method approved or provided for by the Mayor and Council; and
For either cash or other valuable consideration.
The ordinance or resolution that authorizes the bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness may provide for their redemption prior to maturity and for the manner of publishing or otherwise giving notice of such redemption.
The town may enter into agreements with agents, banks, fiduciaries, insurers or others for the purpose of enhancing the marketability of or as security for the bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness and for securing any tender option granted to holders thereof.
The official signatures and seals affixed to any of the bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness may be imprinted in facsimile.
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 section shall be unlimited and the town shall levy ad valorem taxes upon all the taxable property within the corporate limits of the town for the prompt payment of such bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness and interest thereon, without limitation as to rate or amount. The full faith and credit of the town is hereby pledged to the payment of the principal of and the interest on all bonds, notes and other evidences of indebtedness hereafter issued under the authority of this section, whether or not such pledge be stated in the bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness, or in the ordinance or resolution authorizing their issuance.
All bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness validly issued by the town previous to the effective date of this Charter and all ordinances passed concerning them are hereby declared to be valid, legal and binding and of full force and effect as if herein fully set forth.
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. 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.
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.
Immediately after the levy is made by the Council each year, the Clerk-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.
[Amended 5-28-1988 by Res. No. 88-5]
The taxes provided for in Section 717 of this Charter are due and payable on the first day of July in the year for which they are levied and are overdue and in arrears on the first day of the following October. They shall bear interest while in arrears at the rate of 1% for each month or fraction of a month until paid. All taxes not paid and in arrears after the first day of the following January shall be collected as provided in Section 719 of this Charter.
A list of all properties on which the town taxes have not been paid and which are in arrears as provided in Section 718 of this Charter shall be turned over by the Clerk-Treasurer to the officials 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.
All fees and/or charges 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.
The financial books and accounts of the town shall be audited annually as required by Section 40 of Article 19 of the Annotated Code of Maryland (1957 Edition), as amended.
During the first six months of any fiscal year, the town may borrow in anticipation of the collection of the property tax levied for that fiscal year, and may 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 50% of the property tax levy for the fiscal year in which the notes or other evidences of indebtedness are issued. All tax anticipation notes or other evidences of indebtedness shall be authorized by ordinance before being issued. The Council shall have the power to regulate all matters concerning the issuance and sale of tax anticipation notes.
Borrowing on notes. At the time, the town shall have the power to borrow and to evidence such indebtedness by signing promissory notes. Such promissory notes shall be authorized by ordinance before being issued. The Council shall have the power to regulate all matters concerning the giving of promissory notes and shall not be required to solicit competitive bids upon the same, but shall be authorized to negotiate the best rate of interest available, privately, if the Council deems the same advisable.