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$6 Billion Montgomery County Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Budget Approved by Council, Reflecting County Executive Elrich’s Recommended Budget That Focused on ‘Response, Recovery and Resilience’ Following COVID-19 Health Crisis

For Immediate Release: Friday, May 28, 2021

FY22 Budget Does Not Have a Property Tax Rate Increase While Showing Commitment to Long-term Goals of Social Justice, Equity, Community Resiliency and the Challenge of Climate Change

The Montgomery County Council formally approved a $6 billion Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Operating Budget that greatly reflects the recommended budget of County Executive Marc Elrich focusing on “response, recovery and resilience” following the COVID-19 health crisis. During the budget review and approval process, the Council agreed to 99.85 percent of all spending proposals the County Executive had in his recommended budget. The approved budget is a 2.2 percent increase from the FY21 approved budget and does not increase the property tax rate. The FY22 budget goes into effect on July 1.          

The tax-supported budget is $5.13 billion. The budget fully funds the Board of Education's request for $2.8 billion for Montgomery County Public Schools, including $1.8 billion from the County. It also fully funds the budget request for Montgomery College

“I want to thank my colleagues on the County Council for accepting 99.85 percent of my proposed budget recommendations,” said County Executive Elrich. “To have the executive and legislative branch agreeing on virtually all of the total budget is a big win for our County residents. Over the last three budget cycles, Montgomery County has had to overcome deficits, respond to the pandemic, and now, recover from the devastating pandemic that took the lives of more than 1,500 Montgomery County residents. I am proud that my administration has provided balanced budgets that fully fund education, expand transit, fight climate change and keep our residents and neighborhoods safe. And we have done all that while providing a response to COVID-19 that respects the science and protects our residents.”


The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is providing $204 million directly to Montgomery County with additional money going directly to the Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, the Ride On Bus System, and the Montgomery County Health and Human Services department. $76 million of ARPA funds remain currently unallocated, following passage of the FY22 Budget and will be allocated as needed in the months ahead. 

ARPA funds will help direct assistance to families expanded MD Refundable Earned Income Tax Credit. And $92 million of ARPA funds will be applied toward lost revenue from hotel, amusement and admission taxes, postponement of last year’s tax sale and other fees that would normally be collected but were suspended due to the pandemic.


This pandemic has been especially difficult for low-income residents so the recommended budget sets aside an additional $25 million increase to enhance the Working Families Income Supplement program and an additional $5 million to expand the program for residents who have a taxpayer identification number. Those programs provide financial assistance to low-income working families and will help them overcome the challenges that many have faced during this past year. Montgomery County is the only jurisdiction in the State matching dollar for dollar the state investment for these vulnerable residents.


The FY22 budget fully funds the Board of Education's request for $2.8 billion, including $1.8 billion from the County. This investment represents 46.6 percent of the total recommended budget. This funding level exceeds the State's Maintenance of Effort requirement by more than $40.2 million. 


The FY22 budget demonstrates the County Executive’s commitment to reimagine public safety so that members of all communities truly feel protected. The Montgomery County Police Department budget eliminates 29 positions across the police department as part of a reorganization effort. Many of these eliminated positions are currently vacant, and the officers and staff that were assigned to an eliminated position will be reassigned in the department. Reductions were taken from a wide cross-section of positions including, but not limited to, the school resource officers of five planned middle schools; several patrol officers, as well as positions in the collision reconstruction, traffic complaints, SWAT, K9, and emergency services. Savings created by the reorganization also resulted from replacing sworn officer positions with civilian positions in the evidence unit and the personnel division.


The FY22 budget shows a strong commitment to affordable housing. For the Montgomery Housing Initiative (MHI), the recommended budget provides the highest level of funding in County history by allocating $89.1 million for affordable housing. This includes $61.1 million in the MHI Fund, $22 million for the Affordable Housing Acquisition and Preservation CIP project and $6.0 million for the new Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund.

The FY22 budget increases dedicated funding to provide financing loans for the acquisition and preservation of affordable housing units, renovation of distressed housing and creation of mixed-income housing as well as housing units for special needs residents and seniors. It also continues funding to support the "Building Neighborhoods to Call Home" and "Housing First" programs and provides committed rental assistance to help the County's most vulnerable residents.


Among the numerous provisions to improve equity in the County includes nearly $900,000 to fund a Mobile Health Clinic to increase health care access and alleviate disparities throughout the County. The program will seek to improve health outcomes in vulnerable populations and communities. Also included is nearly $1.7 million for the creation of a multilingual and multicultural communications unit within the Community Engagement Cluster. The unit would be staffed with an additional 15 positions that will help connect the County's limited English proficient residents to the services that they and their families need.


In FY21, the County launched its first Flash BRT on Route 29--an important transportation step forward for the East County. The FY22 recommended budget continues plans for BRT along Veirs Mill Road and Route 355.

The recommended budget also includes funding for a study to reimagine the County’s Ride On bus network. The study will examine the system's route network and recommend changes for more efficient and effective service delivery, as well as consider racial equity concerns. A variety of route features will be examined including route structure and connectivity, route span and frequency of service. The study's recommendations will assist the Department of Transportation in implementing strategies to improve in its performance measures and will be key to successfully incorporating electric vehicles into our fleet. The recommended budget includes funding to purchase of an additional 10 electric Ride On buses to bring the total electric fleet to 24 buses.


The FY22 budget helps move toward the goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. This budget funds efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and transportation and increases more clean energy usage. The FY 22 budget funds a full upgrade of the existing recycling center complex and also adds three new positions to ensure the work of the Climate Action Plan moves forward quickly and efficiently. 


Over the past year, the Montgomery County Government made difficult financial decisions to adjust to these unprecedented times. While the County has a fiscal policy to achieve and maintain a funding reserve level of 10 percent of adjusted governmental revenues, certain expenditures during this pandemic were essential to protecting and supporting our residents and organizations. In many cases, Montgomery County needed to pay up-front for costs that will be fully reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

This budget restores the reserves to the County’s policy level within three fiscal years, and the actions taken in the FY22 budget will bring the expected reserve level up to 9.6 percent.

“The year ahead presents us with enormous challenges, but also provides us with tremendous opportunities,” said County Executive Elrich. “We are reimagining public safety so that everyone feels protected in our community. We are working with our neighbors to ensure that all feel welcomed, they have a place to rest their heads at night and they have enough food to eat. We are fully funding the budget requests of our school system and our community college to ensure that the youth and adults in our County can thrive as they head back to the classroom. We are tackling the most pressing issue of our generation and our children's generation—climate change—and, in doing so, providing a more robust transit network. We embrace the diversity of our community, celebrate it, and ensure that all of us have an equitable chance at success. And we are working with our business and nonprofit partners to help them come back from a year fraught with challenges, so they can once again flourish. All of this will require more hard work and difficult choices ahead, yet I am certain that when we are done, our County will be stronger and more resilient.”


Overall Highlights

  • Fully funds MCPS and Montgomery College budget requests
  • Supports families and vulnerable residents
  • Enhances funding for early care and education
  • Provides record level of funding for affordable housing
  • Reimagines Public Safety by beginning to restructure Police and enhance mental health services and crisis response
  • Budget created under an equity lens
  • Makes strides in addressing climate change and promoting mass transit
  • Sets up businesses for sustained economic recovery
  • Boosts County reserves to 9.6 percent
  • No new taxes and OPEB fully funded Funding for Education

Funding for Education

  • Fully funds the Board of Education’s $2.8 Billion request
  • Fully funds Montgomery College $312.5 million request
  • Expands Montgomery Can Code Program and Innovation Hub
  • Supports KidMuseum efforts for hands-on STEM learning

Tackling Climate Change and Expanding Transit Options

  • Additional staff for climate change programs in Department of Environmental Protection for energy policy management, vehicle electrification, and community outreach
  • Enhancements to Tree Montgomery Program, RainScapes Program and Watershed Grants
  • Funds study to revision RideOn TransitNetwork
  • Accelerate preliminary engineering and design for the Bus Rapid Transit on MD355 ($6,000,000),
  • Complete preliminary engineering to provide a managed lane through the new Bus Rapid Transit on US29 ($6,250,000)
  • Complete design for the Bus Rapid Transit on Veirs Mill Road ($4,500,000)
  • Funds design and construction of the Pink and Lime lines through the new Great Seneca Science Corridor Transit Improvements project ($12,100,000)
  • Installs bus priority lanes in Wheaton, Germantown and on US29 ($1,250,000)
  • Adds more than 40 electric buses to County's Ride On fleet ($10,622,000). These buses will be powered by a new solar microgrid at the Brookeville Depot through a public-private partnership

Economic Development

  • Entrepreneurship Development
  • Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Fellowship Program
  • Proposed White Flint Research and Innovation Center Project
  • Inclusive Economy Initiative
  • Talent Pipeline and Workforce Development Partnership
  • $1 million increase for Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation
  • $804,200 to Conference and Visitors Bureau to Offset Projected Hotel/Motel Tax shortfall

A More Equitable County

  • Additional resources and personnel for the Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice
  • Funds for a Mobile Health Clinic to address health disparities
  • Creation of a Multilingual and Multicultural Communications Unit
  • Funds to close the Digital Divide

Affordable Housing

  • Record Funding for Affordable Housing
  • $61.1 million in the MHI Fund
  • $22 million for Affordable Housing Acquisition and Preservation CIP Project
  • $6 million for a New Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund

Support for Families and Vulnerable Residents

  • Increases Working Families Income Supplement Program by $20 million, including $5 million for residents with a taxpayer identification number
    • Enhances funding for Hubs by $3.6 million
    • Expansion of rapid rehousing and rental assistance programs
    • Includes $5 million more for Early Care and Education Initiative – total funds available in FY22 for this program climb to $12.5 million

Reimagining Public Safety

  • Eliminates 29 positions from the Police Department
  • Creates three New Mobile Crisis Outreach teams
  • Maintains and Expands Funding for Mental Health Programs for Youth
  • Establish homeless court

Community Partners

  • Inflationary adjustments for:
    • Nonprofit provider contracts in HHS
    • Medical Adult Day Care providers
    • Developmental Disability Services providers
    • Grant funds provided to Arts and Humanities Organizations through the Arts and Humanities Council
  • Maintains Funding for FY21 Community Grants Recipients
    • Moves 23 Community Grants into the base budgets of departments

Effective and Sustainable Government

  • Fully funds County Council Committee’s recommended funding for the Public Election Fund at $3 million
  • Additional support for MC311 to reduce call wait times
  • Revises methodology for Municipal Tax Duplication efforts to help meet needs of municipal partners
  • Identifies positions for elimination as part of efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness of programs

Maintaining Reserves

  • Reserves fell below 10 percent policy level because of County COVID-19 response
  • Important to maintain the County’s AAA Bond Rating
  • By the end of FY22, reserves are projected to be at 9.6 percent
  • Three-year plan to reach 10 percent by end of FY24

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Release ID: 21-407
Media Contact: Barry Hudson 240-300-7348
Categories: Budget