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02.12.15 County Executive Kittleman approves budget reductions to close FY2015 shortfall

February 12, 2015

Media Contacts:
Deidre McCabe, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022
Holly Sun, Director, Budget Office, 410-313-3190

County Executive Kittleman approves budget reductions to close FY2015 shortfall

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today approved budget reductions needed to close a $15.8 million shortfall in this year’s operating budget.

“We need to balance the budget, as required by county law,” Kittleman said. “We’ve worked closely with all department heads to do this in a way that has the least amount of negative impact on residents. Taking these steps now will head off more serious consequences later this year and in subsequent fiscal years.”

In December, Kittleman requested recommendations from county departments to reduce their current budgets by 5 percent to close the shortfall, caused by less than expected income tax revenue and lower than expected revenue from recordation taxes on real estate transactions.

After reviewing the reduction proposals submitted by all departments, Kittleman and county budget staff created the savings plan, which impacts the second half of Fiscal Year 2015 running through June 30, 2015.

Significant savings will be achieved by postponing the filling of vacant positions, as many as 100 across all departments. Vacant positions in public safety and other critical services are exempt from the hiring freeze.

The savings plan also eliminates multiple one-time purchases that would have been funded by previous fiscal year surpluses (PAYGO funded initiatives). Expenditures for a pilot street lighting conversion program, computers, office equipment, non-critical staff training and other non-essential items will be eliminated or delayed.

The plan avoids furloughs and layoffs in the county work force and does not impact mandated cost-of-living increases and step increases for county employees.