Councilmember Phil Andrews Discusses County Economic Development and Competitiveness

Posted Date: 
January 10, 2013


Councilmember Phil Andrews Addresses Members of the Chamber

Vice-Chair of the Economic Development committee Bill Robertson welcomed the MCCC members and introduced Councilmember Phil Andrews.

Councilmember Andrews spoke to the need for Montgomery County to restore its competitive edge. He spoke about restoring Montgomery's influence in Annapolis after the controversial Maintenance of Effort law and the State shifting pension costs to the counties. Andrews said that 19% of Montgomery County's tax dollars that go to the State are returned to the county's accounts, and this percentage is by far the state lowest.

Additionally, he said that we must address the tax and revenue environment. He talked about the importance of fiscal responsibility in the Counties. In the past, Andrews fought  new policies that he viewed as fiscally irresponsible, such as some of the collective bargaining agreements with the County. Andrews also spoke about his opposition to the energy tax, which was passed in 2010.

In terms of economic development he talked about building a welcoming business climate. Andrews said that while uses of the economic development fund and its associated incentives are important at times, they do not substitute for having the appropriate climate for fostering business. He suggested not adding to the Department of Economic Development's budget, but rather focusing efforts to effect change in the regulatory environment to make the County more business friendly.

Andrews also spoke about the need for infrastructure funding. To finance such infrastructure spending he supports addressing the gas tax, which has not been raised in 20 years. He sees this as the most fair way to raise revenue for transportation. Andrews suggested more dialogue regarding public-private partnerships. He opposes a local tax for transportation. Andrews reaffirmed his support for the Purple Line and the CCT.

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