By Jim Melwert

MONTGOMERY COUNTY (CBS) — The proposed 2017 budget for Montgomery County carries a double-digit property tax increase.

New Montgomery County commissioners’ board chair Val Arkoosh calls the budget proposal fiscally responsible, as it includes an 8-million dollar payment to the pension fund:

“This administration inherited a lot of items that were effectively kicked down the road by prior administrations and the pension fund was probably number one on that list,”  Arkoosh said.

The proposed property tax hike includes a dedicated revenue stream for Montgomery County Community College, funded by an increase of $66 for the average homeowner.

But Republican commissioner Joe Gale says that’s a new tax to raise 23-million dollars while still collecting and spending the 18-million dollars given to the community college in last year’s budget.

“It increases spending by a significant amount,” Gale said. “And that practice, in my opinion, is not sustainable.”

The county will hold two public meetings on the budget on December first.