Friday, March 26, 2010
On March 15, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced his recommended $4.3 billion operating budget that closes a $779 million gap for fiscal year (FY) 2011 that begins July 1. Leggett’s budget focuses on protecting essential services and his priorities of education, public safety and the safety net for the most vulnerable, but includes significant reductions in services and staffing levels.
His hard choices resulted from the continued severity of the economic recession; doubling in the local rate of unemployment; declining residential and commercial development; ongoing, sharp declines in tax revenues and state aid; and emergencies such as the H1N1 flu outbreak and snow removal from this winter’s historic blizzards. Leggett’s budget brings the County government’s tax-supported growth rate down from a 14.1 percent increase in FY07, the year before he took office, to an historic minus 6.1 percent in the FY11 Recommended Budget compared with the current year. The overall 3.8 percent decrease for all County agencies from all sources represents the only reduction in the annual County budget in modern County history -- since the adoption of the current charter in 1968.
Many Montgomery County Department of Transportation services will be maintained, but there will be unavoidable reductions in certain areas. To view the budget highlights and the full budget, go to the Office of Management and Budget’s website. For transportation related items, see sections 46-48.
Approval of the budget is the responsibility of the County Council. The Council has now begun reviewing the proposed budget leading to their approval of the final budget by the end of May. The public can submit comments on the proposed budget through the Council’s public hearings, which will be held in Rockville on April 5-8. Residents may sign up to speak by calling 240-777-7803, by email, by regular mail at 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850, or by calling the Council’s budget hotline at 240-777-7802.
POSTED AT: 10:20:00 AM