Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) plans to plug a $60 million hole in her next budget with rainy-day funds to avoid raising taxes even as she faces calls to increase county spending.
Alsobrooks is adopting the stopgap measure as a deadline looms for county leaders to agree on her $5.4 billion budget for the year that begins July 1. That plan relied on projected revenue that fell short this month.
Creating an accurate economic picture has been a moving target for state and local officials, who have been vexed by a fluctuating economy and have had to adjust their predictions mid-cycle now that they are without injections of federal coronavirus relief money that bolstered revenue in recent years.
“We’re in a triple witching house,” said Michael Sanderson, the executive director of the Maryland Association of Counties. “It’s a weird economy many of us have never seen. Has it been strong because of federal intervention and businesses being propped up with grants? How much has strength been an illusion that’s about to disappear as federal support evaporates?”