Allegany County Commissioners are considering a change in debt policy which would limit the amount of debt service being paid out of the county’s General Fund. Based on a debt affordability analysis, the county is discussing keeping debt service payments at $5 million per year as adjusted for inflation for the general fund. Based on a recommendation by Finance Director Jason Bennett, limiting debt service to $4 million is also being considered. According to the Cumberland-Times News:
Bennett and commissioners say they must limit borrowing because of economic uncertainty and likely reductions in state and federal aid to counties.
“At the very best we are looking at flat income and real estate taxes,” Bennett said. If the federal government makes another round of cuts to the states, “that means another round of cuts for us,” he said. That means limited borrowing should be a priority, Bennett said.
“We have to be very selective … a lot of players are fighting for that money,” he said. Commissioner Creade Brodie, Jr. said the county needs to prepare for the worst and anticipate more state cuts to the counties.