His lame-duck colleagues, James R. Matthews and Joseph M. Hoeffel, may feel otherwise.
Hoeffel, currently the lone Democrat, said he favored a mix of spending cuts and a tax hike of 12 percent to 15 percent.
"Anything more than that would be too much," he said.
Matthews has said he supports raising taxes even more, noting that the county has held steady on taxes for almost a decade and even lowered them one year.
He also called for a tax increase last year, saying he did not want to be part of any government that would cut services or dip significantly into savings.
The budget represents a 7 percent increase in spending over 2011. Keeping taxes at current levels would require "real cuts in budgets. That's why it would be such a tough option," said Hoeffel.
Households pay an average of $450 in county taxes, lower than in surrounding suburban counties.
Like nearly everywhere else, Montgomery County has tightened its belt, and cut spending and employment by 10 percent over the last three years. It has also dipped deep into reserve funds, leaving $20 million in the bank, about half of what municipal bond-rating agencies say is enough.
Castor said the new commissioners, State Rep. Josh Shapiro and Whitemarsh Supervisor Leslie Richards, have pledged to not raise taxes. Both are Democrats, making it the first time since the 1880s that Republicans will not be in charge.
Although Castor wouldn't take a no-tax pledge during his campaign, he said he would "do what the voters wanted, and that is not to raise taxes."
Among the options for balancing the budget are reductions in spending, taking away some paid holidays for employees, continuing to withhold raises, and possibly more layoffs, according to Hoeffel.
Organizations such as the county library, community college, legal aid, and Elmwood Park Zoo could also be in jeopardy.
Contact staff writer Kathy Boccella at 610-313-8123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.