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In The Hole

  • Published in Local

County scrambles to find a solution to unforeseen budget shortfall

MoCo LogoROCKVILLE — Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett directed County departments to make two percent cuts after the discovery of a $120 million budget shortfall.

The cuts are meant to make up for $95 million in projected income tax receipts that won’t be collected for the current fiscal year, combined with last year’s budget shortfall of $20 million, the total comes to roughly $120 million missing from the County’s budget, which Leggett noted is an unusual occurrence considering that the decrease in tax revenue comes as Montgomery County’s unemployment rate has simultaneously decreased.

“The traditional wisdom is when you have higher employment and a larger tax base you don’t normally see those kinds of shifts,” Leggett said. “What we’re doing is analyzing why you have a shortfall in the income tax.”

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Berliner 'skeptical' about Hogan's plan for tackling traffic woes

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Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner (D-1) said he is not sure Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) call for adding $229 million for transportation infrastructure improvements will significantly alleviate traffic congestion in the area.

“I think many of us are skeptical that you can get a lot of change for $100 million,” said Berliner, a third-term council member who chairs the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee. “The proof will be in the pudding, it’s an innovative approach.”

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County Council mulls plans to reduce hunger

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ROCKVILLE – Two years ago, Andy Burness volunteered with the Food Recovery Network to drop off food to a local women’s shelter.

Burness and the group of volunteers arrived with 25 large plastic bins full of food to drop off, but upon arrival, there were already six full bins of food sitting on the kitchen counter.

“We didn’t know what to do,” said Burness, chair of Montgomery County Security Collaborative. “How can you bring fresh delicious food to a shelter and take it back? But conversely, how can you leave that food for the women in the shelter knowing most of it will go to waste?”

On Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council heard testimony on Bill 19-16, which proposes the County develop a five-year plan by Dec. 1 to tackle food insecurity. The Health and Human Services committee will review the bill June 23.

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Floreen proposes controversial change to Westbard plan

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Nancy FloreenMontgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen. COURTESY PHOTO

Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen (At-large) said Monday that the council plans to approve a controversial change to the Westbard Sector Plan.

The Westbard plan would allow for new development at the Westwood Shopping Center in Bethesda and has been a contentious issue for some Bethesda residents who worry the proposed development would exacerbate traffic and congestion.

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County leaders see potential in Cuba businesses

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Upon returning from their trip to Cuba, Montgomery County officials said lifting the embargo against the island will create investment opportunities for businesses in Montgomery County.

Council members Nancy Navarro and Roger Berliner and County Executive Ike Leggett spent five days in Cuba along with other regional leaders to establish a rapport with the island’s leaders.

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