“My Recommended Operating Budget for the coming fiscal year included many difficult choices and continues the work that I began three years ago of putting the County’s fiscal house in order. I’m pleased that the Council approved 99 percent of what was originally recommended.
“Although I believed strongly that the County should not increase property taxes beyond the Charter limit, the Council did approve, with adjustments, my recommended increases in the energy and cell phone taxes. These increases are unfortunate, but necessary.
“My budget recommendation closed a nearly $1 billion gap for this year – making a total of more than $2.2 billion in budget gaps closed over the past four years.
“We are restoring the County’s reserve funds to six percent – and I will forward later this week my proposal to strengthen our reserve policy to provide more flexibility for the County by saving more in good years to better weather the bad years.
“These were not easy choices. I thank the Council for supporting adoption of a budget that fully supports our priorities in education, public safety, and assistance for the most vulnerable.
“I also want to thank the Board of Education, Montgomery College and the Planning Board for working closely with us to develop solutions to the worst fiscal crisis this County has seen since the Great Depression. The cooperation and hard work of these agencies to minimize the impact on their constituents is appreciated.
“Beyond this budget, I look forward to working with the Council on further steps to restructure County government to make it more efficient and cost-effective, create more jobs to bolster our County tax base, and provide critical services to County residents.”
Read the entire statement. Also, read budget feedback from County residents.
POSTED AT: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | 8:00:00 AM