Home owners and our kids have a brighter year to look forward to in MoCo. Our County Executive, Isiah Leggett has announced his recommended 2015 Fiscal Year budget this week. With the fiscal year beginning July 1st 2014, Leggett is looking to expand county support of our schools, county safety and MoCo jobs. The recommended budget of $4.97 billion includes a tax supported county government budget of $1.478 billion, yet also reduces the Property tax rate.
The budget for our public schools has been set well beyond the required State Maintenance of Effort Level law, with the idea of the future needing to be planned for as MoCo schools increase in registered students. Leggett is quoted in the report press release by the county, “As a teacher, a grandparent with kids in our public schools and one for whom education was the ticket out of abject poverty, there is nothing more important than a good, quality education. That is why this operating budget provides an unprecedented County contribution of $1.5 billion for MCPS, 99.3 percent of the Board of Education’s request and $26 million over the State-required Maintenance of Effort level. I am adding at least $11 million in the existing MCPS fund balance to this total to raise the increase to $37 million. For Montgomery College, I am recommending a County contribution of $110.6 million, an 11 percent increase over last year and $11 million over Maintenance of Effort.”
The new budget also gives MoCo 23 new police officers, critical services for our growing senior population, funding for cybersecurity, youth development programs and life sciences. One goal is meet the needs of our community and increase resources for business growth and job creation. The other is to support the infrastructure our residents rely on such as health and human services, libraries and public safety.
Some MoCo Budget highlights are:
- Dropping property tax rate from $1.01 per $100 assessed value down to $0.996, back in line with the Charter Limit set for property taxes;
- A property tax credit of $692 for each owner occupied residence;
- 10% decrease in county taxes applied as a share of personal income;
- 5.2% increase in tax supported funding for the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning commission;
- $379.9 million in county financial reserves, the highest in MoCo’s history
- $5.9 million towards Council Community Grants
- A 6.7% increase for our Libraries, which will increase hours by 5% at 11 branches county wide
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