Commission reviews preliminary budget
The Lewis and Clark County Commission reviewed the 2014 preliminary budget on Tuesday.
County Fiscal Officer, Nancy Everson presented a balanced preliminary budget for the 2014 fiscal year.
“We have intentionally budgeted to spend $11 million more than we're bringing in this year in revenue.”
According to Everson, the budget is set at $77 million while revenue is expected to be only $66 million. That shortcoming is going to be made up with funds from cash reserves.
Lewis & Clark County Commissioner, Andy Hunthausen says, “So it looks like we're spending more money than we're bringing in, but that money has already been saved from previous years.”
Commissioner Susan Giese equates the move to the county having a checking and savings accounts.
“I just want to be very clear about that, because sometimes it makes people really nervous, it's easy to misunderstand.”
Going into 2014 from the previous fiscal year, the budget is up by more than 3%.
Everson: “Most of that is inflationary increases and some of it is just due to capital projects this year.”
Revenue is down by more than 1% from fiscal year 2013.
“The decrease is due to big federal grants falling off the year before", said Everson.
And almost $200,000 more is projected to be brought in from residential and commercial property taxes.
“When we set the mill levies for our property taxes, we will increase those, that revenue we received from the prior year, we will increase that by 1.03%.”
The budget also calls for $1.5 million to be put back into the cash reserves. Public hearings about the 2014 fiscal year budget will be held in June and July, and the budget will be adopted July 9th.
The County Commission usually meets in Tuesdays and Thursdays and the agenda can be found by clicking here
Story by Luba Solonenko, Beartooth NBC.
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