Prince George’s County imposes hiring and funding freeze

When the money is low, something has to go. Prince George’s County, facing a possible $59 million budget shortfall, has imposed hiring and funding freezes across the government, The Washington Post reported.

According to budget administrator Thomas Himler, unemployment and mortgage foreclosures within Prince George’s County have lead to significantly lower-than-expected receipts from income taxes and real estate transfer and recordation taxes. “Right now, we are not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” The Post quoted Himler as telling the County Council at a briefing Tuesday. Himler warned that without taking action, the county’s bond rating could be at risk.

So far, Prince George’s County has plotted out a budget savings of $18 million for fiscal 2015 year by canceling recruiting classes for new police and firefighters, reducing the overtime authorized for emergency workers and halting funds for a series of programs.

It is not the first time Prince George’s County has had to scramble to balance its budget. The Council used money from its reserve fund to cure a $65.2 million deficit predicted by Himler five months ago.

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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