Riemer: Budget Reflects the Times of ‘Constrained Resources’

Even though Montgomery County Public Schools received all its funding request in County Executive Ike Leggett’s proposed fiscal 2019 budget, Council President Hans Riemer called the spending plan a reflection of an era of “constrained resources.”

“This budget reflects the times that we’re in, which is modest growth in revenue even as the economy is quite strong. It’s not that different from the budgets we’ve had over recent years,” Riemer said Monday in a meeting with reporters.

Leggett unveiled his $5.56 billion budget proposal Thursday. It boosted the MCPS budget by $75 million and requires virtually no tax increase.

The council isn’t planning a tax increase, either.

“We’re not contemplating any tax increase,” Riemer said. “That’s not a veiled term disguising something else. We’re not going to raise taxes in this budget.”

He also said: “Everyone has to appreciate we live in an era of constrained resources and real choices. We can’t just have it all and do it all.”

That wasn’t always the case; the county could spend on almost anything, he said.

“That was too good to be true, and it came crashing to an end.” Riemer said. “And now we have needs that are greater than our resources. It elevates the importance of the decisions that we make. We have to really prioritize.”

To fund the increase in education, the budget slows spending growth in other areas, including Montgomery College, Park and Planning and other county government operations, he said.

“It certainly represents some tougher choices,” Riemer said. “But they are choices that support the mission of education in this community and it’s always a very high priority for our residents of this community.”

The council will hold hearings on the budget on April 10, 11 and 12. He said the council will identify its priorities after hearing from the community.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


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