By Jennifer Barrios Jennifer Barrios Reporter covering Montgomery County government and politics Email Bio Follow May 24 at 3:22 PM After disagreements about raises for the county’s unionized workers and wrestling over finding more money for the sch

After disagreements about raises for the county’s unionized workers and wrestling over finding more money for the school system, the Montgomery County Council this week voted to approve a $5.8 billion budget for fiscal 2020.


The budget, which passed unanimously during a brief meeting Thursday, includes a property tax rate of $0.9786 per $100 of assessed value, slightly below the current rate of 98 cents. The owner of an average home in the county will pay $16 more a year because of rising property assessments.

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The spending plan includes $2.68 billion for the county’s public school system — $8.7 million above maintenance-of-effort, a state mandate that requires schools be funded at least the same amount as in the past year. Montgomery College’s operating budget will be $314.7 million, also above maintenance-of-effort for that institution.

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School funding was an issue of contention during this year’s budget process, with advocates and school officials saying County Executive Marc Elrich’s initial proposal in March did not provide enough money.

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The all-Democratic council and Elrich (D) came together the next month to announce a plan to add millions more in funding, using state aid as well as revenue freed up by a state bill that will shift some costs of the 911 system away from the county.

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The budget includes enough funding to allocate 10 percent of the county budget to reserves by next year, which county officials have said is key to keeping the county’s Triple-A bond rating intact.

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County employees will get raises , although the council rejected a contract the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1994 Municipal and County Government Employees Organization had negotiated with Elrich’s administration, saying it was too generous. The union and the administration returned to the bargaining table and came up with a modified plan that keep raises in line with other union employees will get.Q21 Real Estate Promociones

The budget increases spending on recreation, libraries, and the police and fire departments, and provides more than $14.5 million in grants to nonprofits.Q21 Real State

“This budget addresses our most pressing needs in a fiscally responsible manner despite lower-than-predicted revenues,” Elrich said in a statement after the vote

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