Nancy Floreen's Montgomery in Focus, June edition

My Views on the FY 2016 Budget

All nine Council members raising their hands.

On May 21, the Council formally adopted a $5.08 billion total County operating budget for Fiscal Year 2016. The budget reflects a 1.7 percent increase over the approved budget for FY 2015. We also approved amendments to the Fiscal Years 2015-20 six-year Capital Improvements Program. The budget will go into effect on July 1. Learn more about the approved budget. While I did vote for the capital budget and portions of the operating budget, I voted against the aggregate operating budget.

Although I am pleased that the budget holds the line on property taxes and that it funds 97.6 percent of the Board of Education’s funding request for MCPS, I remain deeply troubled by the fuel-energy tax rate. Residents and business owners will remember that we nearly doubled this rate when we were in the throes of the recession. At that time, we promised to eliminate the increase entirely when the economy improved. To date, we have only reduced the increase by 27 percent. In deliberations for next year's budget, we did not reduce it at all.

We have been working hard over the past several years to boost our economic development initiatives and bring more jobs, and ultimately more revenue, to Montgomery County. I am very sensitive to the cost of doing business here, and I have not been willing to undercut our efforts to improve the local economy with such an onerous fuel-energy tax rate. Learn more about my views on the fuel-energy tax and how it affects us all.

Discussion of Public Financing System

diebold voting machine

The Council will join the Montgomery County Democratic and Republican central committees at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 15, at a forum on the new law that will allow candidates for County Council and County Executive to qualify for partial public financing for their campaigns. The law, which we unanimously approved in September, is the first measure of its type for County elective offices in the Washington region and in the State of Maryland. Learn more.

In approving the FY 2016 operating budget on May 21, the Council added $1 million to begin building the fund that will start making public funds available in the 2018 election cycle.

The forum will be held in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery.

Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees

Sign up now if you want to testify at the public hearing on Expedited Bill 24-15. The bill would modify the amount of the tip credit an employer can use to calculate the minimum wage for a tipped employee working in the County. The bill also would require an employer of a tipped employee to submit quarterly wage reports; require the County Executive to establish an online reporting system for quarterly wage reports; and generally amend the law governing the minimum wage for a tipped employee working in the County. The public hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. on June 9, and will be broadcast live on County Cable Montgomery. To sign up, call 240-777-7803. If you can't make the hearing but still want to weigh in, send your testimony to

Forum on HOA Collection Lawsuits

house number 120

HOA and condo board members, check out this forum co-hosted by the Office of Consumer Protection. Here's the full press release:

The Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) and the Commission on Common Ownership Communities (CCOC) will host an informational session about condominium and homeowners association lawsuits regarding the collection of dues and fees on Wednesday, June 10 from 7 to 9 p.m., in the Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville.

The Honorable Eugene Wolfe, the Honorable Patricia Mitchell and the Honorable Gary Everngam will conduct an interactive discussion concerning the following important topics related to collection lawsuits:

  • Role of the District Court
  • Common Ownership Community Statutes
  • Fair Debt Collections Practices Act
  • Common Issues in Common Ownership Community Litigation
  • Claims and Defenses

There are more than 1,000 common ownership communities operating in Montgomery County, and on occasion, they may need to file legal action in District Court when their unit owners fail to pay dues and fees. Homeowner associations and condominium boards of directors, attorneys and unit owners may all benefit from hearing information directly from the judges who currently rule on these lawsuits.

The session is free, however, registration is requested by calling 240-777-3636. See flyer for more information.

For additional information about Montgomery County’s Commission on Common Ownership Communities call (240) 777-3636 or visit

For additional information about the Office of Consumer Protection, call 240-777-3636 or visit

Green Tip of the Month

Montgomery County recently broadened the menu of standards for its Green Business Certification Program to include new business sectors such as restaurants, cleaning companies, hotels and home-based businesses. Twenty-six businesses, certified through nationally recognized third party programs, were honored at a recent press event hosted by the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. Learn More.

Fast Fact

Do you have good photos of county locations or residents? Submit your original work by July 20 for the Department of Transportation's 24th Annual Amateur Photography Contest. Entries will be judged on effective composition, originality, interest and relevance of the subject matter, and technique. Categories include Montgomery County by day or by night, County landmarks, people, and persons at work. There is also an optional youth category for aspiring photographers age 18 and younger who wish to be judged only against their peers. Learn more.

Let's Talk

Is your community organization hosting a public meeting? Please let me know how I can help. I am happy to assist residents in understanding pending bills or in finding ways to get involved in the political process. Even more important, I want to hear about what matters to you. Send your meeting notices to or call 240-777-7959 if you would like me to address a particular topic with your group.

June 2015

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