Proposed Montgomery Co. budget includes record spending for schools, no tax increases for residents

Montgomery County residents won’t see any tax increases under the recommended $7.1 billion operating budget plan for fiscal year 2025. County Executive Marc Elrich released his budget plan on Thursday.

“There was nothing frivolous,” Elrich said during the presentation of his budget. “We weren’t, you know, building a racetrack or any of this other nonsense. We were just focused on delivering services to people.”

Nearly half the budget — $3.3 billion — goes to Montgomery County Public Schools. It’s the third largest increase for Montgomery County Public Schools, with efforts to recruit and retain educators. There’s also more funding for summer and winter break food programs.

Elrich said the budget also includes $755 million for public safety in response to rising crime in the county. Some of that money will expand the “Drone as a First Responder” pilot program to Germantown, Gaithersburg and Bethesda, and invest in a new Girls Fire Camp to encourage girls to consider careers in firefighting.

According to Elrich, a significant number of residents are still struggling after the COVID pandemic, and he said his budget includes support for the most vulnerable, with nearly $3 million to increase homeless shelter capacity and more than $17 million to address food insecurity.

“The need has persisted and then probably just shows the underlying disparities in the community,” he said.

A record $365 million will go toward fighting climate change and environmental initiatives. The budget includes $27.3 million to support economic development in the county, which is a 17% increase from Fiscal Year 2024. And a record $169 million would fund affordable housing.

“There was the COVID budget one, COVID budget two, recovery from COVID budget three when the federal money starts disappearing,” he reflected. And this is probably the most normal budget that we’ve been able to do.”

The Montgomery County Council will now review the recommended budget. The new budget is scheduled to go into effect on July 1.

Check out the breakdown of Montgomery County’s budget plan for the next fiscal year here.

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