Ambulance fee loss may not mean cuts
Montgomery County voters' rejection of a county government proposal to charge for ambulance rides might not result in cuts to the county's budget, as County Executive Isiah Leggett warned it would, according to some council members, the Gazette reports.
While campaigning for passage of the fee, Leggett (D) said that failure to pass the measure would result in $14.3 million in cuts to the county's fiscal 2011 budget to make up for the lost revenue the fee would have generated. Among the cuts proposed: layoffs of more than 100 employees, including firefighters.
Now, council members say they are unlikely to approve Leggett's recommendations — if cuts are necessary at all.
"The cuts that Leggett proposed were unacceptable, unnecessary, inflammatory, and they were proposed as a way to scare people into supporting the ambulance fee law," said council member Philip M. Andrews (D-Gaithersburg). "The council is not going to lay off dozens of firefighters. I said that from the beginning, and I'm sure that will be the outcome."
If the county receives more income tax revenue than expected from the state later this month, then cuts could be avoided, some council members said.
The county expects to get $1.06 billion in income tax returns from the state in fiscal 2011. Those predictions are based on conservative estimates, so some council members say the county could receive more revenue than expected.
Read more about Montgomery County and possible budget cuts in the Gazette.
Washington Post editors
| November 10, 2010; 11:10 AM ET
Categories: Crime and Public Safety, Maryland
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