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County Executive Leopold Takes Action to Address Projected $36 Million Revenue Shortfall

Institutes spending freeze for remainder of FY2009

ANNAPOLIS (December 2, 2008) - County Executive John R. Leopold today announced a series of actions to reduce the County budget, including a spending freeze that means no new purchases of vehicles or equipment this fiscal year.

The actions are in response to an anticipated revenue shortfall of approximately $36 million for FY2009 primarily resulting from declining collections of recordation and transfer taxes. Actions on the expenditure cuts include freezes on computer and vehicle replacements and travel.

"We continue to receive sobering news stemming from a struggling economy, and this Administration continues to take prudent steps to keep our budget solvent," County Executive Leopold said. "For the rest of the fiscal year we will not be buying any new computers, fire engines or police cars. Next year is showing signs of being possibly the most challenging budget year this County has seen."

County Executive Leopold has been proactive in reducing spending throughout his term, using tools such as three hiring freezes, cutting take-home vehicles and leveraging grants. The Administration has been communicating with affected parties, including meetings this week with Schools Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell and the leadership of the County Council.

"Like the county, the school system has taken steps throughout the current fiscal year to save money," Dr. Maxwell said. "The $8.3 million in cuts to balance our budget this year have included the elimination of nearly 200 positions, 150 of which were outside the classroom. We have also drastically reduced professional development, contracted services, and equipment purchases. We are certainly not immune to the downturn, and our conversations with the County Executive and his staff have been very helpful as we prepare our Fiscal Year 2010 budget proposal, which I will present to the Board of Education later this month."


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