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Another $85 million down in Montgomery

Montgomery County

Montgomery County officials are trying to digest a new batch of ugly budget figures from the state, particularly this one: $85 million.

That's how much less the county is getting in income tax revenues in November, and it comes on top of budget gap Montgomery officials had been estimating at $364 million.

"It's bad news," said Jennifer Barrett, Montgomery's director of finance.

"It means the cuts will be deeper and broader," said County Executive Ike Leggett (D).

Maryland collects the county's income tax, then hands it over. The county's November estimate was $305 million. The revenue turned out to be $220 million. County officials had been estimating that a large slice of the expected income tax pie would shrink by 60 percent. Instead, that portion, covering the 2008 tax year, was down 93 percent, Barrett said.

"Overall we had an $85 million reduction from what we expected, and what we expected was way less than we got last year," Barrett said. She said analysts are still trying to gauge the full picture, but she expects the budget gap to increase by at least that figure.

"It's one piece of information, but I think Ike has already said publicly said we're already going to be looking at gaps that are approaching $500 million again, if not more," Barrett said.

Last year the county's budget gap reached as high as $585 million, Barrett said.

"I'm not going to raise taxes," Leggett said, "but everything else in on the table."

By Michael Laris  |  November 19, 2009; 4:40 PM ET
Categories:  Michael Laris , Montgomery County  
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