Politics and Policy

County Revenue and Budget

Latest update:

FY2024:

Information on the proposed FY2024 budget will be included here when the County Executive submits his budget.

FY2023

Updated September 28, 2022

County Revenue

Issue: How can the county increase revenues over the longer term so it can meet its budget requirements while balancing concerns for the environment, transportation, and schools. This is likely to be a major issue in the 2022 election for County Executive.

Background: For several years, the county has been experiencing low economic growth because of the lack of job creation and a low rate of establishment of new businesses in the private sector in comparison to nearby counties and other jurisdictions. 

Two 2020 council initiatives aimed at improving the county’s long term economic condition were passed over the County Executive’s veto.

  • Council Bill 29-20 as passed offers 15-year property tax breaks on Metro development projects in the hope that this will spur high rise development activity near Metro stations. 
  • The Council modified and then accepted the County Planning Board’s updated Subdivision Staging Policy, now referred to as Growth and Infrastructure Policy.  See this website for details. This policy requires the government to evaluate public infrastructure capacities, such as schools and roads, to determine whether they are sufficient to support a proposed development project before approving that project.  According to some, the changes to the policy reflect more of an emphasis on growth rather than on balancing the infrastructure to support new development. 

Updated 01/30/2022

State Revenue and Budget

Issue: What is the state budget for FY2023 and what is the outlook for the state budget in the next few years?

Latest Updates:

Delegate Marc Korman, District 16, a member of House of Delegates Appropriations Committee, reports the following regarding the state’s FY2023 budget and projected revenues:

  • Budget FY2023
  • $2.4 billion added to the Rainy Day Fund to protect state finances in case of future fiscal uncertainty.
  • $350 million in tax relief, including a tax credit for retirees and a sales tax exemption for some essential goods.
  • Almost $8 billion for public school support and full funding of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, including approximately $900 million for the operations of Montgomery County Public Schools.
  • Grants to the arts and tourism community still reeling from COVID-19.
  • Support for colleges and universities to cap in-state student tuition increases at 2%.
  • Funding for expanding Medicaid to cover dental benefits.
  • Expanding Temporary Cash Assistance to those in need.
  • Expanding funding for summer meals for needy students.
  • Support to cut down the Autism Waiver waiting list.
  • In District 16 and across Montgomery County, the capital–or construction–budget as passed includes:
  • $12 million for the Bethesda Metro South Entrance being constructed in conjunction with the Purple Line.
  • $3 million for new park space around the Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market in Downtown Bethesda.
  • $500,000 for Round House Theatre renovations.
  • $130,000 for Glen Echo Park’s parking lot rehabilitation project.
  • $600,000 for Little Falls Stream Valley Park maintenance.
  • $1.25 million for the Housing Opportunities Commission and Montgomery County project at The Metropolitan to stop chronic flooding.
  • $500,000 for the Glen Echo Fire Department.
  • $63.4 million for Montgomery County Bus Rapid Transit.
  • $8.8 million for Montgomery County to acquire zero-emission buses.
  • $10 million for White Flint infrastructure improvements.
  • Tens of millions of dollars for Montgomery County school construction, including funds through a special program for school districts with high enrollment.

FY2022 Summary: Budget Surplus

  • Maryland has ended FY2022 with another unanticipated budget surplus — and this year some of that windfall will automatically be redirected to state savings accounts, school construction programs and state employee wage increases.Contributing to the windfall were personal income tax revenues, which came in 15.7% higher than projected, a 19.6% increase in sales and use taxes, and a 16.3% increase in corporate income tax, after companies saw rebounding profit growths.But Comptroller Franchot and other top fiscal leaders urged caution in spending Wednesday, citing concerns about a future economic downturn.
  • The March Update of the Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates reported that income and sales tax revenue have come in at higher levels than expected, leading to an upward revision. These revisions are actually conservative, as personal income tax growth–for example–has been up 11.3% so far and would have to plummet to less than 1.9% to hit the estimate. Employment is still below pre-pandemic levels by 100,000 jobs and, despite these strong aggregate figures, many are suffering. Inflation and the geopolitical situation also create risk–to revenue and to health and safety and security. You can read the full deck here: https://t.co/5fOaUw1MUZ  The official write-up is here: https://t.co/mIZh67BZGs And the full meeting can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi3xLvliTW0

Updated September 28, 2022

State Legislative Plans and Actions – 2022 and 2023 Plans

Latest Updates:

2023 Legislative Session. State Senate President Bill Ferguson offered a preview of the issues lawmakers are likely to focus on when the General Assembly convenes four months from now. He identified mental health, transportation and workforce development as likely priorities. He also said the new wave of state leaders need to pay careful attention to the learning and social deficits experienced by children as a result of the pandemic.

2022 Legislative Summary. The legislature’s Department of Legislative Services has issued its summary report of the 2022 session. The report contains detailed information on all legislative actions, including the budget as well as other policy matters.

Updated September 28, 2022

Archived but Important

2020 Ballot Questions

Both the State and the County had important constitutional and charter questions on the 2020 ballot.

State Ballot Questions

Background:  In November 2020 Maryland voters approved two state ballot questions: 1]  A constitutional amendment that authorizes the General Assembly, beginning in FY2024, to increase, diminish, or add items to the budget as long as it does not exceed the proposed budget submitted by the governor; and 2] A referendum to approve the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland to authorize sports and events betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education.

More Information:  See the PRA Fall 2020 newsletter.

County Ballot Questions

Background:  In November 2020 Montgomery County voters approved two county ballot questions:  1] To remove a cap that limits how much the county’s property tax revenue can increase in a single year. Requires all nine council members to approve an increase in the tax rate; and 2] To expand the council from nine seats to 11 seats. Seven members would be elected by district. The other four seats would remain at large.

More Information: See the PRA Fall 2020 newsletter.

updated 01/05/2021