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2:03 AM / Thursday December 8, 2022

24 Nov 2022

SUBURBAN NEWS: Montgomery County releases proposed 2023 budget and capital improvement plan

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November 24, 2022 Category: Sun Report Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, chair, Montgomery County Board of Commissioners (Photo/montcopa.org)

NORRISTOWN, Pa. – The Montgomery County Commissioners have released the proposed 2023 Budget and five-year Capital Improvement Plan. This budget continues the County’s commitment to the highest quality delivery of services to constituents, safe and high-quality infrastructure, and continued investment in its county workforce.

“Like many families and businesses have experienced over the past year, the County is facing significant pressure this year on our budget,” said Valerie A. Arkoosh, MD, MPH, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “However, through strong financial management practices and managing our fund balance, we have a projected $15 million dollar surplus from our 2022 budget. This prudent management allows us to continue to invest in the delivery of high quality services to our constituents, our county workforce, and critical infrastructure while keeping the impact to our taxpayers in line with inflation.”

The proposed 2023 budget presents a balanced approach to allow the county to continue its critical infrastructure improvements and manage during an anticipated time of future economic uncertainty. Overall, revenues are estimated at $512.1 million, or 5.2 percent higher than the 2022 budget. Expenditures are estimated at $530.7 million, or 6.4 percent higher than the 2022 budget. 

“The 2023 proposed budget and capital improvement plan continues our commitments to investing in efficient service delivery, our infrastructure, and our workforce,” said Kenneth E. Lawrence, Jr., vice chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “Through a multi-year capital plan, we continue to invest in high quality public places for our residents while also protecting open space. Through good financial management, we can provide all these services and infrastructure to our residents with a minimal increased impact on individual taxpayers.”

Highlights of the 2023 proposed budget and capital improvement plan include:

$270 million in capital funding to upgrade and improve County-owned roads and bridges, parks, trails, and other facilities enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

Funds to staff, manage, and distribute $195 in state and federal grants funds to support small businesses, homeless and at-risk populations, storm Ida relief efforts, childcare subsidies and more.

$23.9 million to strengthen the County’s pension fund, representing 100 percent of the annual required contribution.

Continued investment in the County’s workforce including non-contractual base wage increases in line with peer counties and a compensation study to address pay equity, starting salaries, and promotion formulas among other improvements.

This budget takes into consideration rising costs due to inflation, continued labor market pressures, and the ongoing recovery costs from storm Ida. 

The County projects a moderate increase of revenue sources coupled with higher expenditure growth. To continue to provide public services at the highest quality and balance the budget as required by law for county governments, the County is recommending a planned $13.6 million drawdown of its unrestricted fund balance and asking homeowners to pay an average of about $53 dollars more per year. 

The proposed 8 percent increase in the County’s portion of the real estate tax will generate approximately $19.6 million in new net real estate tax revenue. Residents earning a fixed or low income may be eligible to enroll in a tax abatement program to minimize the impact of any tax increases on their household finances.

The County’s proposed 2023 budget and five-year capital improvement plan are posted online on the County’s finance page at: www.montcopa.org/finance

and is available for public review in-person at One Montgomery Plaza, located at 425 Swede Street, Commissioners Office, 8th Floor, Norristown, PA 19401.

For the fourth year in a row, Montgomery County has leveraged OpenGov’s cloud-based software during its budgeting process. Residents and the public can access key County financial and non-financial data online through its data visualization platform that will be fully updated next week. Current stories feature information about the County Campus Redevelopment Plan, road and bridge projects, and other County investments.

The Commissioners will hold two hybrid virtual and in-person public hearings on the 2023 Proposed Budget and Capital Improvement Plan on:

Thursday, December 1 at 10 a.m. 

Thursday, December 1 at 5:30 p.m. 

Public comments are accepted by mail, email, virtually at the hearing through Zoom, and in-person. Individuals can submit comments via email to [email protected], or mail comments to: Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, P.O. Box 311, Norristown, PA 19404.

The Commissioners will consider the budget for adoption at their regularly scheduled board meeting on December 15, 2022, at 10 a.m.

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