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County’s Budget Hearing Is Friday

By David Howell

COFFEEVILLE – Do you have a comment about how your county tax dollars will  be spent during the next year?
    Friday is your opportunity to insert your two cents worth during a public hearing set for 9 a.m. at the Coffeeville Courthouse.
    Following public input the Board of Supervisors will adopt the budget for the upcoming fiscal year that starts in October.
    Per state law, the county publishes a notice two times in both of the county’s newspapers alerting taxpayers and voters of the public hearing (see Page 6).  The notice includes an overview of the $7,748,399 budgeted in revenue, which is in line with the previous year. The actual millage rate for the county’s general fund is set at 86.51 – almost identical to last year’s 86.57 tax rate. This does not include the millage assessed for schools or special levies for bonds.
    Although the notice indicates there is almost three-quarters of a million dollars more in projected revenue from FY11 to FY12, this is more of an accounting figure, according to Tony Green.
    Green works as a budget consultant for North Central Planning and Development District and is the numbers guru for the county during budgeting time.
    This time last year during budgeting time, county officials projected $6,988,599 in projected income for the current fiscal year. An additional $600,000-plus flowed to the county from various grants which increased the actual 2011 revenue, Green told the Herald.
Jail Issue
    Supervisors did have the option to lower the millage 3.64 mills and still pay the bills in 2012. The extra mills come after a 1.85 mill hospital bond levy was retired, plus a 1.79 mill surplus that comes as the county’s assessed value increased 2.9 percent for the coming fiscal year.
    Combined, the extra millage will generate around $184,000, according to Green.
    Supervisors agreed to retain the 3.64 mills to pay for the construction and operation of a new jail, even though the jail expenses will not start in the coming  year.
    Other budget highlights include a $50 raise for county employees, the first in almost four years, and a $5,000 raise for the sheriff.

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