Montgomery Council OKs $5.4 Billion Budget

Montgomery County Councilmembers voted unanimously Thursday to pass a fiscal 2018 budget, totaling $5.4 billion.

Council President Roger Berliner said the spending plan “harmonizes our fiscal realities with our values while building on the basic services that our residents and taxpayers see and rely on every day.”

The budget does not contain a property tax increase, but it spends 2.7 percent more than the previous year.

Thursday’s vote was a “straw vote” to see gauge members’ support of the spending plan, which covers the 12 months starting July 1. Council committees have been poring over county spending since County Executive Ike Leggett delivered the budget in March.

The council will approve the budget formally Thursday.

The budget does not change the county’s property tax rate of $1.0013 per $100 assessed value. However, the annual tax bill for the average homeowner will increase $20 because of rising assessments. The budget also includes a $692 property tax credit for homeowners who live in their properties.

The council provided $2.52 billion to Montgomery County Public Schools — 100 percent of the school board’s request and 2.6 percent more than what was approved in the fiscal 2017 spending plan.

With the school funding, the school system will be able to add 103.8 full-time employees for a total of 22,284.3. The increase is primarily in teacher positions (91.2).

The council continued its emphasis on increasing a variety of early childhood programs. It added to the budget $2.2 million to support expansion of 10 Head Start classrooms to full school day programs. It also provided $342,000 for pre-kindergarten services for 40 3-to-5 year-olds.

The approved budget also meets the fiscal 2018 target for the County’s reserve—8.9 percent of adjusted governmental revenues.

Funding for Montgomery College is $314.7 million, which assumes a 1.6 percent tuition increase ($2 per semester hour for in-county students, $4 per semester hour for in-state students and $6 per hour for out-of-state students).

The budget includes funding for contracts with nonprofit service providers in the Department of Health and Human Services budget that represents a 1.9 percent increase above the department’s last year budget.

The budget approved the employee pay increases.

• The agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 35, will provide a 2 percent general wage adjustment for all bargaining unit members effective on the first pay period beginning after July 1, 2017, 3.5 percent service increments for all eligible members on their anniversary and 3.5 percent longevity increments for bargaining unit members with 20 years of service.
• The agreement with Local 1664 of Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters Association of the International Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO will provide a 2 percent general wage adjustment beginning on the first pay period beginning after October 1, 2017, a 3.5 percent longevity increment for eligible bargaining unit members with either 20 or 24 years of service and a 3.5 service increments for all eligible bargaining unit members on their anniversary.
• The agreement with Local 1994 of the Municipal and County Government Employees Organization of the United Food and Commercial Workers, AFL-CIO (MCGEO) provides a 2 percent general wage adjustment beginning on the first pay period after Aug. 1, 2017, for members in the OPT/SLT, Deputy Sheriff Uniform, and Correctional Officer salary schedules. It provides an increase of 25 cents per hour for seasonal employees, a 3.5 percent service increment for all eligible members on their anniversary and a 3.5 percent longevity increment for eligible members with 20 years of service.
• Effective the first full pay period after Aug. 1, the Council approved a 2 percent general wage adjustment and adjustment to the minimum and maximum of each grade in the salary schedules for County Government non-represented employees.

The budget for Montgomery County Public Libraries is $42.7 million, an increase of $1.07 million (2.6 percent) above last year’s spending plan. Three branches –Kensington Park, Little Falls and Twinbrook — will expand hours. The budget also adds a Deaf Culture Digital Library.

Comments

| No comments yet.



Engage us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter