By a narrow margin, the Montgomery County Council voted today against a further reduction in the county’s energy tax. As reported by the Bethesda Magazine,
Council member Nancy Floreen had proposed a 10-percent cut that would’ve meant about $11.5 million less in revenue next fiscal year.
It would have followed similar cuts in the last three budgets to the roughly 85-percent increase pushed for by County Executive Ike Leggett and approved by the council in 2010.
Leggett proposed doubling the energy tax during the county’s fiscal crisis and bringing in an extra $133 million in revenue, with the promise of letting the increase sunset after two years.
But Leggett reconsidered the idea of letting the increase sunset, leading representatives from chamber of commerce groups and the building industry to lobby council members to make the change to Leggett’s budget.
Today’s council debate was likely the most contentious the nine-member body has had during this budget cycle.
The proposal failed by a vote of 5 – 4.