Douglas County commissioners will hold a public hearing Wednesday on their proposed 2014 budget, but commissioners are not expecting much of a turnout.
“Quite frankly, most years it is pretty quiet,” Chairman Mike Gaughan said. “A couple of times when we've had controversial discussions people have come to defend or attack certain things, but, by and large, it passes without much fanfare.”
Commissioner Jim Flory said he expected a quiet hearing too.
“My understanding is that typically it's virtually unattended,” Flory said. “There's only been one year when there were people there, and there were a lot of issues about where the money was being spent. That was maybe two years ago. Last year I don't recall anybody coming.”
The proposed budget calls for total spending of $64.6 million next year. Of that, about $43 million would come from local property taxes.
The budget includes about $2.2 million in new spending, largely the result of salary adjustments for county employees and the cost of certain state funding cuts.
It also calls for an increase in the county's property tax mill levy. The result would be that the owner of a $200,000 house would pay an estimated $854.31 in property taxes for county government next year, an increase of $31.62 over this year.
After the public hearing, commissioners may vote to decrease the property taxes they intend to levy, but they may not amend the draft budget to collect more in property taxes.
Commissioners are expected to vote on final approval of the budget immediately after the public hearing, which is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at the county courthouse.