HoCo development mystery

I talked about Howard County development mystery before. One tiny example is that developers provide their own traffic study to mitigate traffic problem. Then almost all traffic study is green-lighted. In my view, the County should charge a fee and hire an independent third party to conduct traffic study. In that way, the study is more objective. How do we think a developer paid traffic study can be impartial?

Here is another article on today’s Columbia Flier´╝Ü developer’s donations should be branded as conflict of interests.

2020 County Spending Affordability Advisory Committee Report

Here is the link: https://www.howardcountymd.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=BE0JFBVqnOY%3d&portalid=0

Some highlights:

Issue 1. Operating budget revenue level and growth lags far behind requested expenditure growth

Issue 2. Capital budget continues to see requests 2-3 times affordable level; debt capacity depleted

Recommendations

  1. Projections of Revenue for Fiscal Year 2020

The Committee recommends development of the FY 2020 budget based on projected revenue of $1.15 billion, an increase of 2.7% ($30 million) over FY 2019 budget (excluding use of fund balance).

2: A Recommended Level of New County Debt Authorization

The Committee recommends limiting authorized new General Obligation bonds in FY 2020 to $70 million.

The report is really helpful for those who are interested in understanding the county financial situation from this report.

Talking about APFO part, the report only focuses on the revenue part, not on the cost side.