**FILE** Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks speaks during an April 22 press conference outside Laurel Medical Center to announce the facility will reopen to treat coronavirus patients as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan looks on. (Courtesy of Angela Alsobrooks via Instagram)
**FILE** Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks speaks during an April 22 press conference outside Laurel Medical Center to announce the facility will reopen to treat coronavirus patients as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan looks on. (Courtesy of Angela Alsobrooks via Instagram)

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks has revised her proposal for the fiscal 2021 operating budget as the economic fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic continues, with the county projecting a loss of $134 million in revenues.

Prince George’s overwhelmingly has the state’s most confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, since Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency early last month after Maryland’s first known cases were reported. The subsequent shutdown of businesses statewide and the ripple effect on the economy caused Alsobrooks to scale back the $4.58 billion budget she initially proposed March 11.

“This is a significant deterioration of county source revenues which support our core services,” Alsobrooks wrote in a letter dated Monday to County Council Chair Todd Turner. “We must remain vigilant in monitoring our revenue collections as well as the overall economic trends which could indicate a further erosion of our fiscal outlook.”

Some of the revised figures from last month’s proposed budget are:

• $86.4 million cut in income taxes ($77.4 million in receipts and $8.9 million from a state disparity grant).
• $16.7 million reduction in licenses and permit fees with the majority ($14.7 million) based on gaming revenues.
• $13.2 million in transfer and recordation taxes because of a decline in home purchases and refinancing.

With revenue declines also come reductions in expenditures. Six of the county’s public safety agencies could be one of the hardest-hit with a nearly $36 million decrease due to a reduction in funding for vacant positions, fringe benefit costs and other salary adjustments.

According to a revised plan, board of education funding could be decreased by $7.7 million which includes $2.6 million in instructional salaries and $1 million toward special education.

The proposed $4.5 billion spending plan released last month highlighted nearly 60 percent of the budget toward education, or $2.28 billion.

The coronavirus pandemic may also affect The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, the major education plan state lawmakers approved last month to increase teacher salaries, expand early childhood and higher additional mental health providers and guidance counselors.

Prince George’s County Council plans to hold three virtual budget sessions Tuesday starting with education. Although the school board unanimously approved a $2.3 billion budget in February, the council makes the final approval.

The council must adopt a new spending plan by June 1.

“The coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic has thrust us all into uncertain times and unknown territory,” Turner said in a statement Thursday. “This will be yet another challenge that Prince Georgians will rise to meet together motivated by the strength, determination and resiliency of our residents and communities.”

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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