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Leggett proposes modest spending increase

  • Published in Local

County Executive Ike Leggett.  FILE PHOTOCounty Executive Ike Leggett.      FILE PHOTO  Calling it a prudent attempt to guide Montgomery County through fiscal uncertainty, County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) released the final budget proposal of his last term as county executive Thursday, putting forward a $5.56 billion operating budget – increasing spending by 2 percent – for Fiscal Year 2019, with most of the increase directed to Montgomery County Public Schools.

“This budget continues my commitment to prudent fiscal policies critical to sound fiscal management,” Leggett said. “I have increased our reserve levels to cushion the taxpayers against any future unanticipated economic setbacks and included the required level of funding for retiree health benefits."

Leggett had stressed caution in the weeks leading up to the budget announcement, promising that it would not include a property tax increase, with the caveat that it was unlikely that he would propose drastic spending increases in most areas thanks to the current budget’s $120 million shortfall.

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Education committee recommends $30 million cuts

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The Montgomery County Council Education Committee considered County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett’s (D) proposed cuts in funding for Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College last week when the Council’s committees met to nail down the details of how best to absorb the projected $120 million budget shortfall brought about by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 

“We understand that this is a moment of unique times although unfortunately for us in the County it seems to be this uniqueness happen more often, which kind of redefines uniqueness,” said Council member Craig Rice (D-3), who chairs the Education Committee.

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Leggett plans budget cuts

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MoCo LogoMontgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett released his plan for $60 million in proposed cuts last week, after news the County is way short of its proposed revenues for the current year.

Leggett’s proposed cuts, most notably target schools – the largest part of the County’s budget – include a proposed $25 million cut to Montgomery County Public Schools and a $5.2 million cut to Montgomery College.

“There are very few options that are there, you don't go there unless you absolutely have to,” said Leggett of his proposed $30.2 million cut to schools.

In addition, Leggett also proposed a $3.8 million cut to police, a $2.6 million cut to the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, a $2.6 million cut to fire and rescue services and a $4.4 million cut to the Department of Health and Human Services to make up for the revenue shortfall.

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Budget shortfall could hit County gang prevention

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ROCKVILLE — Montgomery County Council Members are concerned that the County’s new effort to pour money into preventing the growth of gang activity could be a casualty of the forthcoming budget cuts intended to mitigate a budget shortfall.

“Here’s my concern so, alright, we are going to engage very actively in January to address the savings plan,” said Council member Nancy Navarro (D-4) during a joint meeting of the Council’s Public Safety and Health and Human Services Committees. “At the same time that we also heard there were programs that we have funded previously that have not actually been implemented.”

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In The Hole

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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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Legislators bristle at budget

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larry-hogan-md-govANNAPOLIS – In the words of more than one Montgomery County delegate, Governor Larry Hogan’s proposed budget for fiscal 2016 is “disconcerting” – mainly because Montgomery County Public Schools will be taking a $17 million cut to its educational spending.

The proposed budget, unveiled last Thursday, calls for a 50 percent reduction in the geographic cost of education index (GCEI) among a laundry list of other reductions to erase a projected shortfall of about $800 million next year.

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Counties wait on Hogan budget

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CNS-hoganinaugurationweb-01After being formally sworn in as Maryland’s 62nd governor on Wednesday, Larry Hogan will unveil his proposed budget this week.

Maryland is currently facing an estimated budget shortfall of up to $1.2 billion for the next two fiscal years.  

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