Council Reaches Tentative $4.6 Billion Budget Agreement

Formal adoption of the fiscal 2013 operating budget is set for May 24.

The Montgomery County Council tentatively agreed Thursday on a $4.6 billion county operating budget for fiscal 2013. The budget, along with a construction spending plan through fiscal year 2018, is set for formal approval May 24.

“Our priorities have been, and will continue to be, our world-class school system, public safety, safety net service and growing our economy. This budget reflects that,” Council President Roger Berliner (D-Dist 1) of Potomac said in a statement.

The plan is based on a which included a $200 million spending boost and increased funding for police, firefighters, libraries and youth programs.

Council members reached the budget agreement unanimously. The spending plan will take effect July 1.

The operating budget funds the county school system and Montgomery College at state-mandated maintenance of effort levels, The Gazette reports. It also grants county employees a one-time bonus and restores positions including 58 in the county police department and 15 in the library system, according to The Gazette.

The plan bolsters spending for county's Health and Human Services programs and increases library funding by $2.9 million, The Gazette reports. It would also, however, increase parking rates and property taxes, The Washington Post reports. Under the plan, the owner of a $250,000 property would see their tax bill jump by about $18 a year, according to The Post. The cost of a monthly Ride On bus pass would increase from $40 to $45, The Post reports.

The plan includes revenue from a controversial energy tax and ambulance fees. Under the energy tax, residents would pay about $140 more a year, while businesses would pay about $1,360 more annually, The Post reports. The energy tax, however, would be decreased by 10 percent from the levels proposed by Leggett.

The budget increases county spending 5.6 percent over the fiscal 2012 budget, according to a county statement.

macadoodle May 19, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Property tax increase of $18 a year? Mine were increased by $500 last year while the assessed value of the property went down. Energy tax? That will be tacked on to the condo fee but evidently the Council thinks that only rich people live in condos so they must be made to suffer. No mention in their colossal budget, of course, about the decrepit roads in the County similar to those in a third-world country which the Council members evidently don't notice in Twinbrook, Connecticut Ave, Takoma Park... as far as the eye can see in their haste to waste more money. Since this is a one-party County and State, when will the more frugal, less tax-and-spend Democrats step up to the plate and challenge the profligate liberal wing of the Party in a primary? Or are We the People all sheeple content with the present state of affairs?
macadoodle May 19, 2012 at 07:00 PM
On another topic: the County Council by a 6-3 vote unilaterally overturned the decision of We the People in the referendum of 2010 re: ambulance fees. How is that for arrogance toward the electorate. An editorial in the Montgomery Sentinel says it best: Throw the Bums Out. http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/Karem5-17


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