The Montgomery County Council is scheduled to approve the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The council already gave preliminary approval unanimously last week, after making some minor but noteworthy changes to County Executive Isiah Leggett's initial plan.
Property taxes are going up as Leggett proposed, but the council did approve a 10 percent reduction in an energy tax hike that was first approved in 2010. Leggett criticized that move, saying doing so will hurt the county's flexibility in crafting next year's budget. But Councilman Phil Andrews says the entire 2010 energy tax hike was supposed to have been eliminated last year, but it wasn't and urged his colleagues to continue to slash the rate hike this year.
Pay raises for most unionized county employees were approved. They range from 6.5 to 9.5 percent this year, and go as high as 19 percent for the next two years.