County continues to whittle budget

A public hearing on the 2016-17 Jack County budget was given Monday.

With a $206 million drop in tax rolls, commissioners are looking at a potential tax increase. Through cuts and adding revenue, the court has cut what could have been more than a  3-cent increase down to just under 1.5 cents and are still looking for cuts to make.

“A lot of people forget that we pay taxes too,” Judge Mitchell Davenport said. “We’ll find some other places to cut. The budget we initially submit and the final budget are never the same animal.”

The effective tax rate, which will raise the same amount of funds as last year is 45.41 cents per $100 valuation. The rate needed to fund the budget as it is presently is 46.62 cents. Commissioners would still need to cut about $174,000 to keep the same tax rate.

With the drop in tax rolls along with an expected drop in fees in both the Justice of the Peace and County Clerk’s office and an increase in health insurance, the cuts are becoming tougher to find. No raises are being given to county employees, except retired ones who are getting a 20-percent COLA increase, the first since 2008, Davenport said.

“We’re just trying to stay even,” Davenport said. “I guarantee you the county tax bill will be the smallest of the bunch.”

To read the complete article, see the Aug. 19 edition of the Herald-Gazette.

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