Jennifer Hughes talks County budget

Posted Date: 
September 21, 2012

Vice-Chair Josh Bokee welcomed the committee and introduced Montgomery County Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jennifer Hughes.

Ms. Hughes began by presenting an overview of the Montgomery County budget and its organizational structure. She spoke about oversight and accountability including the County's internal audit, annual audit of financial statements by an independent audit, and CountyStat. CountyStat is an effort to investigate County spending and report on their findings to the public.

Ms. Hughes discussed the major differences between the CIP and the Operating budget as well as key facts about the County budget. The capital budget is financed with some cash, but mostly debt for new projects. The budget for the CIP is now just below $295 million, reduced from about $350 billion. The operating budget is approved annually and it funds the County's programs and services. The operating budget for Montgomery County now $4 billion from tax revenue. The two biggest sources of revenue are from the property tax and the income "piggyback" tax. Ms. Hughes also described where County money comes from and where it is spent. By State law, the County is required to pass a balanced budget.

Since the recession, County government assumed most of the reduction in funding. Recently, County Executive Leggett has reduced more than 1,000 positions in County Government. In order to be better prepared for future economic ebbs and flows, the County has reduced his debt service by spending less money in the capital budget and increased the pool of reserves.

The committee asked many questions related to the County budget. Questions for the committee were about the County reserves, a possible reduction in tax revenue due to the millionaires tax, the County's bond rating, the impact of federal sequestration on the County, funding for the school system, and assumptions for the FY14 budget.

Click Here to Download the Jenifer Hughes PowerPoint Presentation

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