Montgomery Council Unanimously Approves $5.8B FY 2020 Budget

The Montgomery County Council today voted unanimously to approve the County’s $5.8 billion FY 20 operating budget, amendments to the FY 20 capital budget, and the FY 19-24 capital improvements program (CIP). The $4.4 billion FY 19-24 CIP to fund school construction, infrastructure improvements, and community projects.

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The operating budget fully funds Montgomery County Public Schools and supports Montgomery College, expands public safety, provides essential health and human services programs and safety net services, invests in public transportation, and earmarks $7 million in funding for one of Council President Navarro’s top priorities—early child care and education.

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“Today, I applaud and appreciate the Council’s unanimous support for the County’s $5.8 billion operating budget that endorses 99.7 percent of my initial proposal,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “It is symbolic of the new and collaborative relationship – that I and Council President Nancy Navarro, as well as the entire Council, have worked to develop.”

“I am proud to say that the $5.8 billion operating budget turns our talk into action by providing strategic investments that will assist community members, enhance our quality of life, and meet the complex needs of our dynamic County,” said Council President Nancy Navarro. “This budget brings together my priorities and my work on education, economic development and workforce development with a focus on equity, fiscal prudence, and sustainability. This budget says we are a people-friendly and a business-friendly government, and we care about our employees.”

According to a press release:

The operating budget meets the FY 20 target for the County’s reserve—10 percent of adjusted governmental revenues. The budget also provides $128.3 million in additional resources for Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB). Funding for these fiscal obligation helps the County retain its triple-A bond rating.

Council President Nancy Navarro, Vice President Sidney Katz and Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz, Andrew Friedson, Evan Glass, Tom Hucker, Will Jawando, Craig Rice and Hans Riemer voted to approve the operating and capital budgets. Council President Navarro’s statement can be read here. All Councilmembers’ budget statements can be read here (under Council headlines) and video clips of their remarks can be found here.

The County’s $4.4 billion, six-year capital budget provides funding to address the County’s most urgent building needs. Some items of note in the CIP include: more than $10 million in additional funding for the resurfacing of residential and rural roads, which is more than double the amount currently programmed for FY 19; the restoration of planning and design funds for additions at Highland View, Lake Seneca and Thurgood Marshall Elementary Schools, as requested by the Board of Education; the restoration of planning, design and construction funds for additions at Ronald McNair Elementary School and Parkland Middle School, with a one year delay; and the acceleration of funding for facilities improvements, restroom renovations and roof replacements throughout Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).

The budget reflects a property tax rate of $0.9786 per $100 of assessed value and includes a property tax credit of $692 for homeowners whose properties are their primary residences. The annual bill for the average homeowner will increase by $16 from FY19 because of rising assessments. With these actions, property tax revenue did not exceed the “Charter Limit” on real property tax revenue.

The budgets will go into effect on July 1. The complete list of items approved on the Council’s budget reconciliation list can be found here. The list of County community grants can be found here. The Council’s budget resolutions can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/MoCo2020Budget.

Read the full press release for more information,

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