County Budget Proposes Record School Spending, More Police Officers

The proposed Montgomery County budget for the next fiscal year would increase spending on schools and police, but decrease resident's property tax rate.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett proposes a $4.97 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2015 that begins July 1. Credit: Montgomery County
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett proposes a $4.97 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2015 that begins July 1. Credit: Montgomery County

From a news release:

Schools would receive a record amount of county money under the proposed $4.97 billion operating budget unveiled Monday by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, and more police officers would be hired while the county’s property tax rate decreases.

The budget for fiscal year 2015 begins July 1, and includes a tax-supported county government budget of $1.478 billion.

“This operating budget devotes record spending to MCPS,” said Leggett in a news release. “As a teacher, a grandparent with kids in our public schools and one for whom education was the ticket out of abject poverty, there is nothing more important than a good, quality education. That is why this operating budget provides an unprecedented county contribution of $1.5 billion for MCPS, 99.3 percent of the Board of Education’s request and $26 million over the state-required maintenance of effort level. I am adding at least $11 million in the existing MCPS fund balance to this total to raise the increase to $37 million. For Montgomery College, I am recommending a county contribution of $110.6 million, an 11 percent increase over last year and $11 million over maintenance of effort.”

Leggett’s budget adds 23 police officers and expands Positive Youth Development programs, services critical to the growing senior population and funding for life sciences and cybersecurity.

The budget includes:

  • A total of $4.97 billion in spending for Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, County Government and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission;
  • Recommended tax-supported expenditures of $4.33 billion;
  • Holding the line on property taxes at the charter limit with a drop in the property tax rate from $1.01 per $100 of assessed value to 99.6 cents so that the average homeowner will pay $17 less this year;
  • A property tax credit of $692 for each owner-occupied residence to limit the burden on homeowners;
  • Reductions in all county taxes, as a share of personal income, from an average of 4.41 percent in FY07 to a projected 4.0 percent in FY15 – a 10 percent decrease;
  • Full funding of the County’s Retiree Health Benefits at $105.1 million;
  • A 5.2 percent increase in tax-supported funding for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission;
  • County financial reserves at the policy level of $379.9 million, the highest in the county’s history;
  • PAYGO in the Capital Improvements Program at 10 percent of current revenue to match bond funding in the capital budget, consistent with fiscal policy;
  • No increase in the Water Quality Protection Charge or solid waste charges for county residents; and
  • A Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission budget that would increase water and sewer rates by 6 percent in FY15 in accordance with the commission’s recently approved budget.

The full budget and highlights are available on the county’s website at: County Executive's Recommended Operating Budget for FY15.


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