Leggett: Session Results "Mixed" for MoCo
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett said the General Assembly session that wrapped up at midnight Monday delivered "mixed" results for Montgomery.
The county avoided some potential trims to teacher pensions, he said. But he pointed to the debate over the repeal of the computer services tax as a dilemma for the county.
The General Assembly replaced the revenue that the unpopular "tech tax" would have provided with a surcharge on millionaires, cuts to transportation spending and trims in other agencies. Leggett and some Montgomery legislators are worried about the impact of the surcharge on the county.
"I was forced into a position of choosing which poison I was going to take," Leggett said.
State data show that more than 40 percent the state's approximately 6, 000 millionaires live in Montgomery County, and county officials fear the surcharge could drive them to Virginia or the District.
Leggett said he still wasn't happy about the surcharge, and pointed to alternative plans outlined by some lawmakers that would have combed the state budget further for other trims.
"I don't think they fully looked at the size of the state budget, that they can't find $200 million somewhere in order to adjust it. There should have been more exploration of that," he said.
"Now we are trying to take what we have, and the position that the county is in, and not do any further damage," Leggett said.
Leggett and the County Council are trying to find ways to stem a local shortfall of about $300 million as they fund the county's $4 billion budget, half of which goes to public schools.
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