Prince George’s Takes Steps to Address Budget Deficit

Lower than expected tax revenues have forced Prince George’s County to institute “modest hiring and funding freezes” across county government.  As reported by the Washington Post,

Prince George’s is facing a $59 million deficit that, if left unchecked, could swell and jeopardize the county’s bond rating, budget administrator Thomas Himler said during a briefing Tuesday with the County Council.

The administration has begun to reduce overtime for emergency workers, withhold funding for various programs and cancel recruitment classes for the county’s police and fire departments. Those measures could save $18 million by the end of fiscal year 2015.

Mr. Himler indicated that typically tax revenues come in higher than what is estimated in the county’s budget, but this year revenue has been lower.

“It went the other way,” he said, adding that unemployment, slow wage growth and high mortgage foreclosure rates have contributed to the shortfall in Prince George’s.

The Prince George’s County Council has indicated its willingness to work with the Administration to renegotiate some reductions.