County buying freeze ordered

The Baltimore Sun

In response to an anticipated revenue shortfall in Anne Arundel County of about $36 million for the 2009 fiscal year, County Executive John R. Leopold has announced a freeze on purchases of new vehicles and equipment for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends in June 2009.

The revenue shortfall results primarily from declining collections of recordation and transfer taxes. Leopold also is freezing spending on computer purchases and travel.

"We continue to receive sobering news stemming from a struggling economy, and this administration continues to take prudent steps to keep our budget solvent," Leopold said last week. "For the rest of the fiscal year, we will not be buying any new computers, fire engines or police cars. Next year is showing signs of being possibly the most challenging budget year this county has seen."

Leopold has taken similar actions previously, including instituting three hiring freezes, limiting take-home vehicles and leveraging grants.

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