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The Council may add to, delete from, increase or decrease any appropriation item in the operating or capital budget. The Council shall approve each budget, as amended, and appropriate the funds therefor not later than June 1 of the year in which it is submitted.
An aggregate operating budget which exceeds the aggregate operating budget for the preceding fiscal year by a percentage increase greater than the annual average increase of the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers for the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area, or any successor index, for the twelve months preceding December first of each year requires the affirmative vote of six Councilmembers. For the purposes of this section, the aggregate operating budget does not include: (1) the operating budget for any enterprise fund; (2) the operating budget for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission; (3) expenditures equal to tuition and tuition-related charges estimated to be received by Montgomery College; and (4) any grant which can only be spent for a specific purpose and which cannot be spent until receipt of the entire amount of revenue is assured from a source other than County government.
The Council shall annually adopt spending affordability guidelines for the capital and operating budgets, including guidelines for the aggregate capital and aggregate operating budgets. The Council shall by law establish the process and criteria for adopting spending affordability guidelines. Any aggregate capital budget or aggregate operating budget that exceeds the guidelines then in effect requires the affirmative vote of seven Councilmembers for approval.
By June 30 each year, the Council shall make tax levies deemed necessary to finance the budgets. Unless approved by an affirmative vote of all current Councilmembers, the Council shall not levy an ad valorem weighted tax rate on real property to finance the budgets that exceeds the ad valorem weighted tax rate on real property approved for the previous year. The weighted tax rate is calculated by determining the sum of each property tax rate adjusted by the proportion of assessable base that is charged that tax rate. (Election of 11-7-78; election of 11-6-84; election of 11-6-90; election of 11-3-92; election of 11-8-94; election of 11-3-98; election of 11-4-08; election of 11-6-18; election of 11-3-20.)
Editor’s note—See County Attorney Opinion dated 5/5/09 regarding the County executive’s ability to impound appropriated funds. See County Attorney Opinion dated 10/1/08 explaining Council’s ability to impose limitations on the Executive’s ability to seek and obtain grants. See County Attorney Opinion dated 6/20/06, concerning the Charter revenue limit, which interpreted Charter Section 305. See County Attorney Opinion dated 5/10/99 recognizing that authorized reimbursement for college tuition, training and/or education costs made to County employees do not violate the Charter. See County Attorney Opinion dated 4/7/99 clarifying that the Council may place conditions on appropriations prior to June 1, with certain limitations. See County Attorney Opinion dated 6/9/98 addressing the creation of Department of Liquor Control by State law and the department’s funding and expenditures. See County Attorney Opinion dated 5/8/98 explaining that State law created the Department of Liquor Control and gives the Council oversight over the department, but does not give the Council budget or appropriation authority. See County Attorney Opinion dated 1/26/98 analyzing a petition to amend charter to require any increase in taxes to be approved by referendum. See County Attorney Opinion dated 7/14/94 explaining that the Education Article allows Council to place restrictions on tuition and fees by the Board of Trustees of Montgomery College, and that a proposed amendment to Charter § 305 re approval of budget, appropriation of funds, and levying taxes does not appear to conflict with State law. See County Attorney Opinion dated 9/3/92 explaining flaws in § 305 based on a misleading petition and an amendment that conflicts with State law. See County Attorney Opinion dated 7/14/94 explaining flaws in § 305 based on a misleading petition and an amendment that conflicts with State law. See County Attorney Opinion dated 10/30/91-A describing the additions to Charter § 305 by Question F as not conflicting with the TRIM amendment.