County Executive Leggett Urges Council Not to Add New Expenditures

Montgomery County Executive Leggett met with County Council Members earlier this week to urge them not to add new expenditures to his proposed FY 2016 budget. The $5 billion budget proposed by Leggett increases spending by 1.4%. Council members have proposed a series of reductions and new spending which would add $21 million to the budget.

As reported by the Washington Post,

The add-ons include $10.9 million for Montgomery College, $2 million for the county’s new publicly funded campaign finance system, $1.7 million for parks improvements and $541,000 in grants to arts and humanities organizations. At the same time, the council is considering a proposal by council member Nancy Floreen (D-At Large) to reduce the county’s fuel energy tax rate by 10 percent. The cut would decrease projected revenue by $11.5 million, Leggett said.

Leggett told the council that the addition of ongoing costs without revenue to offset them will only increase the size of what is likely to be a significant property tax increase in next year’s budget. But he also said he will be sending his own supplemental appropriation requests, including $6 million for new voting machines and upgrades to the fire department’s emergency communications center. He is also asking for $4.8 million to cover snow removal costs from this past winter.

The County Council is scheduled to take final action on the proposed budget on May 21.

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