Montgomery Budget Includes Record Funding for Schools, Affordable Housing, Climate Change

The Montgomery County Council unanimously voted to approve a $6.3 billion fiscal 2023 operating budget and a $5.3 billion fiscal 2023-2028 capital improvements program, as proposed by County Executive Marc Elrich. The approved budget is a 6.2 percent increase from this year’s budget without any tax rate increases.

The budget makes significant community investments while also —for the first time — meeting the County’s aggressive revenues reserve target. Notably, the budget considers the impacts of climate change and addresses racial equity and social justice.

“This is a rock-solid budget, and, for the first time in over a decade, we were able to fully fund our most pressing priorities,” said County Executive Elrich. “I want to thank the County Council for its hard work, diligence, and input. All of us are focused on improving education, expanding affordable housing opportunities, enhancing public safety, combatting climate change, and committed to equity. This FY23 budget will also grow our reserves, helps preserve our AAA bond rating, and provides improved compensation for our employees.”

According to a County press release:

Highlights of the FY23 Operating Budget:

  • Largest Budget EVER for Montgomery County Public Schools: $2.9 billion – a $137.9 million increase from FY22
    • $117.4 million ABOVE the State’s Maintenance of Effort Requirement
    • Funds 100 percent of Student Needs (99 percent of the school board’s request)
    • Includes funding for the High School Wellness Initiative
  • Provides initial funding for Montgomery College’s East County Education Center
  • Record funding for climate change initiatives including:
    • $18.6 million in new funds for the Montgomery County Green Bank
    • New $1 million program to provide incentives for residential, multifamily and commercial buildings to replace fossil fuel equipment and appliances with electric ones
    • More than $1 million to support the implementation of the Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) program to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in public and private multifamily and commercial buildings
  • Highest level of funding in County history for affordable housing
  • Enhances police recruitment and retention by strengthening the competitiveness of police compensation in relation to neighboring jurisdictions while expanding the police recruitment unit to attract top talent
  • Significant enhancements for individuals and families to create food security, financial and housing stability and more inclusive prosperity
  • Additional investments in economic development and workforce training

FY23-28 Capital Improvement Budget Highlights Include:

  • Total capital investments exceed $5.26 billion over the six-year period – $949 million over the prior CIP
  • $1.77 billion for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) capital projects over the six-year period
    • $55 million more than was requested by the Board of Education
  • $335.8 million for Montgomery College projects
    • Includes initial funding for new Montgomery College East County Education Center
  • $459.1 million for Bus Rapid Transit
    • $438.1 million for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects along MD355 and Veirs Mill Road
    • Construction of BRT Route along MD355 from Rockville to Germantown to extend fast, high-capacity transit for communities not served by Metrorail, with additional funding for designing the remaining portions (Rockville to Bethesda and Germantown to Clarksburg)
  • $139.4 million FY23 funding for affordable housing projects. The CIP also includes:
    • $157 million for affordable housing acquisition and preservation investments over the next six years – $22 million each year with $25 million in additional funding in FY24-26
    • In conjunction with a $14.8 million supplemental–$36 million will be available over the next 18 months to support affordable housing projects
    • $20 million for the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund – a $6 million increase
    • $8.2 million to support Housing Opportunities Commission projects
    • A new Affordable Living Quarters project to provide permanent, affordable housing to very low-income households
    • $40 million of new funding to preserve Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing
  • White Oak and White Flint Redevelopment public-private partnerships

Visit the Montgomery County website for more information.