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Press Releases - County Council

Council approves $72 million Fiscal Year 2021 Savings Plan

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Rockville, Md., July 28, 2020—Today the Council unanimously approved a $72 million Fiscal Year 2021 Savings Plan, with operating budget savings totaling $43.7 and savings from the county's Capital Improvements Program (CIP) totaling $28.3 million. In May, the Montgomery County Council approved a continuity of services budget for county government and outside agencies totaling $5.8 billion. During the budget deliberations, the Council asked County Executive Elrich to submit a savings plan to deal with the evolving fiscal impact of the COVID-19 public health crisis on the county's economy.

“When the Council approved the county's $5.8 billion continuity of services budget on May 21, we all knew that there would be more work to do because of the unpredictable nature of the global pandemic and its fiscal impact,” said Council President Sidney Katz. “At this point, we also anticipate more tough budget choices for the foreseeable future, as we continue to evaluate the ongoing fiscal implications of the public health crisis. The Council thanks County Executive Elrich and his team for their efforts on the saving plan. We will continue to work together to ensure that Montgomery County is providing the essential services that our residents rely on, while also ensuring that we are spending taxpayer resources wisely.”

“Due to COVID-19, Montgomery County could lose up to $600 million in tax revenue,” said Council Vice President Tom Hucker. “As a result, we must make difficult fiscal decisions. This savings plan makes responsible and much needed budget reductions that factor in our fiscal situation, public health and economic crisis.”

“While savings plans are never easy, I am proud of the proactive approach this Council has taken to address the unprecedented financial challenges posed by this pandemic,” said Councilmember Nancy Navarro who is chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee. “This is the worst economic crisis in many of our residents' lifetimes, and it is clear that further actions will need to be taken in the near future to preserve our bond rating and restructure our county services to more efficiently serve our constituents. A lot of work still needs to be done, but I am confident that this Council, working with the Executive and taking into account the needs of our community, will be able to act as efficient stewards of taxpayer funds.”

“In these unprecedented times, the impacts of the pandemic are seen all around us, including devastating our budget,” said Councilmember Craig Rice, who is chair of the Education and Culture Committee. “Every agency, department, and organization has stepped up to do what they can to try to mitigate the losses our county is facing, including our educational partners. Montgomery College answered the call with its voluntary contribution of $4.4 million and MCPS has pledged to work with the county on finding future savings based upon the re-envisioned fall and winter semesters. In these difficult times, we are thankful for the collaboration and commitment of everyone for doing what they can to help us navigate our fiscal situation.”

This saving plan approved by the Council exceeds the July 6, Executive-recommended reductions, which identified $38.7 million in operating savings for Montgomery County Government and Montgomery College and $27.7 million in CIP Savings for county government and the Housing Opportunities Commission, because the Council-approved plan includes reductions for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC).

Each Council committee reviewed the budget savings for departments and agencies under their jurisdiction, and the Council reviewed these committee recommendations on July 21. The Council supported most of the reductions identified by County Executive Elrich but did not support $2.4 million of the $34.3 million in reductions for county government. Final action on the $628,000 in reductions to M-NCPPC's CIP must be delayed until the fall to meet the public hearing advertising requirements.

The Council staff report, budget resolution and chart with specific budget savings can be viewed here .

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Release ID: 20-337
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931