ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Some Maryland county executives gathered Tuesday in Rockville to warn of the serious economic consequence to the Washington area economy if federal across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration go into effect on March First.
"In the past few years we've been hit by a lot of weather-related storms but on March First of this year we may be hit by a financial storm, one that will severely impact our region.
"As you know, we have a lot of federal employees here, but the problems and the impact really go beyond that to every day workers, to our tax bases, to small businesses, you name it: we'll be hit, and hit quite severely," said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett.
"To give you an indication of what we are talking about in Montgomery County alone 47 thousand federal workers and thousands of businesses that contract with them will be impacted in FY 2012.
"Montgomery County alone had five billion, let me repeat that, five billion with a "B"
in prime federal contracting awards that will be adversely affected, as well
as the potential for 20 days of pay, or reduced pay, or pay elimination by federal employees will have a devastating impact.
"For Montgomery County alone in terms of its tax base, each day, based on our estimates is a possible $500 thousand, that's each day is $500 thousand. That's a huge impact," Leggett said.
"For us In Prince Georges County, to give you a sense of what the federal impact is for us, approximately $14 billion in federal spending annually in Prince Georges County, approximately three billion in federal spending on salaries and wages in the county.
"10 days of furloughs equal $120 million in lost income for federal employees in the county, approximately five billion annually in federal procurement spending in the county.
"A five percent reduction in procurement spending equals approximately $250 million in lost revenues to the local economy for us in Prince Georges County.
"10 percent of the county's workforce are federal jobs. That's approximately 27 thousand jobs out of almost 300 thousand total jobs in the county.
"Approximately 16 percent of the county civilian employee population 16 years and older are federal employees, approximately 71 thousand out of 400 thousand total civilian employed population.
"A five percent reduction in housing choice vouchers program funding equals roughly, approximately, 250 low-income families without financial assistance for their housing costs.
"Approximately five million in reduction in federal education aid, that' one-point-five million in special education aid, one-point-five million in Title One funding, 500 thousand in Head Start funding and 250 thousand in teacher quality grants, that gives you a sense of the impact of the sequestration in Prince Georges County," said County Executive Rushern Baker.
"These are not just numbers on a paper. This is not just petty politics between people down on Capitol Hill. These are actual folks who will not be able to pay their mortgage, pay their rent, or teachers who won't get grants or housing vouchers that will go unfilled. So, we want congress to act, and we need them to act now and not to wait for March First," Baker said.