The Prince George’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Addressing the Structural Deficit recently briefed the County Council on its recommendations for closing the County’s structural budget gap. The Commission was comprised of 16 public and private members who met numerous times over the past 15 months to evaluate revenue and spending issues that contribute to the County’s ongoing budget challenges.
The Commission concluded that the County must strengthen public confidence in the ability of the county government to perform its duties with efficiency and integrity. Part of that effort would include increased transparency of public data, eliminating waste and inefficiencies and creating an Office of County Inspector General. After public confidence had been strengthened, additional efforts should be undertaken to amend charter restrictions that limit county property tax revenues. Citizen charter initiatives have imposed a limit on the county property tax rate (TRIM) and constrained taxable assessment growth for homeowners (Homestead Tax Credit). The Commission determined that the structural budget gap would not be resolved until one or both of those charter revenue limitations were eased.