AGENDA ITEM #5A
September 12, 2017
September 8, 2017
Glenn Orlin?6eputy Council Administrator
Affordability Guidelines for the FYI 9 Capital Budget and FYI 9-
24 Capital Improvements Program
Council staff recommends advertising a range of $330-$360 million/year for General
Obligation bonds, the same range that was advertised two years ago when the guidelines were last
The low end of the range would be $10 million less than the current $340 million annual guideline,
and the high end would be $20 million more. Note that the Council is not ultimately bound to a
guideline within this range; it could plausibly (but not likely) pick an amount lower than $330 million or
higher than $360 million.
Council staff recommends advertising a range of $6.0-7.0 million/year for M-NCPPC bonds.
The low end of the range would be $0.5 million less than the current $6.5 million annual guideline, and
the high end would be $0.5 million more.
Establishment of guidelines
Section 305 of the Charter requires the Council to set spending affordability guidelines for the
capital budget each year, and requires the Council to establish by law the process and criteria.
Subsequent law requires the Council to set the guidelines for capital budgets by resolution biennially,
and no later than the first Tuesday in October in odd-numbered years: October 3 in 2017. As the title of
the law indicates, the guidelines are related to how much the Council believes the County can afford, not
how much might be needed.
Until now the guidelines have applied to County General Obligation bonds and bonds issued by
the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) only; there are no limits on
capital expenditures which are funded by other sources (except for the Washington Suburban Sanitary
Commission, for which there is a separate spending affordability process). Roughly 42.0% of the $4.94
billion Approved FYI 7-22 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) as amended (excluding WSSC) is
financed by County General Obligation bonds and about 0.8% is financed by M-NCPPC bonds.
The guidelines adopted on or before October 3 are to specify: