Less Money, More Taxes in Montgomery Co.

County deals with large -- and unexpected -- budget deficit

By Andy Salsman
|  Friday, Apr 23, 2010  |  Updated 10:16 AM EDT
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Less Money, More Taxes in Montgomery Co.

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They say that talk is cheap, but that may not be the case much longer in Montgomery County.

County Executive Ike Leggett wants to raise cell phone taxes in the county to help close a $168 million budget deficit. He also wants to double energy taxes. If you live in Montgomery County, you could expect to pay about $100 more a year on your energy bill.

The massive budget shortfall came as a surprise to county leaders, who say they received less funding from the state than expected.

“I think it’s important for people to realize that, essentially, you change the numbers when the check comes in from the state, and it’s not what the state told you the check was going to be,” County Council member Mark Elrich told WTOP.

“You get to the point of diminishing return, where you have to decide whether it’s worth further reductions to services,” Leggett told the Washington Examiner. “We need to shift a little bit of this money… across the board.”

Leggett has other plans to balance the budget, including more than 200 layoffs. He is also proposing almost $2 million in transit service cuts.

The County Council is scheduled to submit a final budget less than two weeks from now.

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