Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett unveiled his FY 2012 budget proposal on March 15 that includes the elimination of 219 positions, 139 of which are layoffs of existing personnel, a 1% property tax increase and a requirement for employees to contribute more for their health and retirement benefits. The County Executive also proposed cuts to county services and programs including libraries, youth sports programs and the arts. The $4.35 billion budget funded the public schools system at the FY 2011 amount. A March 16 Gazette article states:
Leggett proposed a 4.2-cent increase in the property tax rate, which would keep the county’s property tax revenue at the charter limit. On average, homeowners would pay about 1 percent more on their property tax bills.
Leggett said that because property values in the county have, for the most part, decreased, an increased property tax rate is needed to raise the same amount of revenue as the current year.
The tax increase would raise an additional $72.3 million in revenue, which Leggett said is at the charter limit. The charter limit allows property tax revenue to rise at the rate of inflation, but anything above that amount would require a unanimous vote of the County Council.
The budget goes before the County Council for action and a final decision in May.