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Fulton County Budget In The Red For 2011



The current draft of Fulton County’s budget for Fiscal Year 2011 has expenditures exceeding revenues by about $303,000, according to figures from Vond Hall, county administrator.

The draft budget estimates revenues for 2011 at $10,780,689. Expenses for the year are estimated at $11,083,528.89, a difference of $302,839.89.

The deficit can be made up by the county’s carryover budget, Hall said.

Because the county doesn’t receive operating revenues until April of each year, the county maintains a form of savings account, called the carryover, to pay its bills during the first three months of each year.

Hall said last week, the carryover stood at $2.1 million, but the county started the year with a carryover of $2.2 million. The county has dipped into the carryover, or savings account, for $100,000.

Ideally, Hall said the car ryover should be 25% of the budget. On a budget of $11 million, that works out to about $2.7 million.

“I don’t know if we’ll get there,” Hall said.

Deadlines

The commissioners must adopt the tax budget for 2011 no later than July 15.

The budget then goes to the county budget commission composed of Brett Kolb, county auditor, Beverly Schlosser, county treasurer, and Scott Haselman, county prosecuting attorney.

They must review the tax budget, looking for areas where the tax revenue collected is more than necessary.

If they find such an instance, they can reduce, or roll back, the amount collected.

Hall said the commissioners do not have to submit a balanced budget to the budget commission.

Balancing the budget must be done by December, when the appropriations– the amounts of money the county sets aside for specific purposes– is complete.

Factors

There are several factors that impact the budget.

Hall said the furlough program– a reduction in pay for county employees instituted as a cost-savings measure– will expire.

He is also projecting that the county health insurance bill will go up by 12%, but he has not received the official notification.

Another factor is the county 1.5% sales tax. A half-percent increase went into effect at the beginning of 2010.

Revenue from the original 1% sales tax is down compared to last year.

“It depends on what the sales tax does in the second half of the year,” he said.


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