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Archive for Monday, December 1, 2008

Douglas County adjusting budget as revenues fall short

Declining property values and a drop in sales and mortgage taxes will force Douglas County leaders to adjust the 2009 budget.

December 1, 2008, 11:50 a.m. Updated December 1, 2008, 4:21 p.m.

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Revenues that support Douglas County government are down this year, and adjustments will have to be made to the 2009 budget, County Administrator Craig Weinaug said Monday.

“Revenues do not look good for 2009. I’m preparing recommendations to not fund part of the budget,” Weinaug told county commissioners.

That probably means not filling employee vacancies and asking departments to spend less than they are already budgeted for, he said.

Revenue is down because of declining property valuations, sales and mortgage taxes.

“We’re not talking about any service cuts,” Weinaug said. “The reserves (fund) in the county are strong enough that I’m not talking about anything drastic.”

Assessed property valuations for businesses and houses are expected to decline between 2 percent and 5 percent, Weinaug said. Total valuation for new buildings are down 50 percent, which means there is still construction going on but considerably less of it, he said. Personal property taxes are dropping because of the state’s move a few years ago to remove the tax on machinery and equipment.

And because consumers are spending less, sales tax revenue now is expected to be down. The county had projected it to increase up to 1 percent.

At the same time, fuel costs have decreased from July levels when the 2009 budget was initially planned.

“We’ll have savings in that area,” Weinaug said.

Despite declining revenue, commissioners on Monday agreed to proceed with a 1 percent raise for county employees that was already in the budget.

Information provided by Assistant County Administrator Pam Madl showed that the national consumer price index increased by 3.7 percent in October 2008 compared with the same month in 2007. In the Kansas City metropolitan area, it increased 4 percent from the first half of 2007 to the first half of 2008. Regional information for the second half of 2008 is not yet available.

Comments

DouglasCountySucks 5 years, 4 months ago

More ways to save money for the County.............................1- Buy 1 year old lease return trucks for 1/2 price.They have a full warranty. . ..........................................................2- Do not buy new mowing equipment ( for road ditch,s ) and when it comes time to buy, buy smaller ones with no cabs and no frills. (save hundreds of thousands $$$$$$$)..3- Chip and seal with white rock (save millions of $$$$$$$)4- Maintain the gravel roads better to save rock purchases.Saving money is so simple, but has not ben done for the last 15 years or more by Douglas County.They run scared when they come under budget and waste it to fill the usage of funds. This allows for raising the next years spending and allowance, thus wasting millions.Now that money is low , they will cut money in places that hurt us.They spend when times are good and dont save any for slumps like now, it is a shame and very costly for tax payers.I think budgets should be limited and a carryover fund should be enacted for any part of the county to draw from in time of need, but under great overseeing........................................Manage it like a business, not a slushfund as has been done for many many years. The county is infact a business and needs good managment in the future, not as it has been run of recent years.

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notnowdear 5 years, 4 months ago

Save money by NOT fluoridating the water, or at least cut down on the amount that is used. I hear the price of fluoridation in our tap water made a surprising jump. Nearly doubled, I seem to remember.IF the CDC recommends fluoridation of our drinking water, let them pay for it too.

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notajayhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

Sales taxes are down? No kiddin'. I'm sure that won't affect the mT, and the city won't be back hat-in-hand asking to fund it in some other way.

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Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm curious which of the many, many companies Informed is thinking about?

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Lynn731 5 years, 4 months ago

I will never forget the 50% raise the "commissioners" voted themselves around Christmas a few years ago. I think that, and the bridge repairs, are why 2 of them did not run again. Now we need to get rid of the third one. Thank you, Lynn

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pickaname 5 years, 4 months ago

The responsible thing to do is to give the peon county workers, the ones that do the labor, the same raises that the county "heads" vote themselves. The hard working county employees have to pay the same for a loaf of bread as the leaders downtown.

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Norma Jeane Baker 5 years, 4 months ago

While I applaud Craig Weinaug for the fiscal responsibility he seems to show, I must take Ms. Madl to task. Although a 1% raise is paltry and does not match the increase in the CPI, it IS a raise. Many, many companies will not be giving their employees raises this year. Why doesn't the county follow suit? It seems the responsible thing to do.

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Larry_The_Moocher 5 years, 4 months ago

No money, but they get a raise... Vote them out... we just took another pay cut.

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