Increases in health insurance and the employee pension fund subsidy are among the reasons likely to be cited by the administration for seeking a tax increase.
Council has scheduled nine work sessions to review proposed spending and receipts before its
The last county tax hike -- 4% -- was approved in 2016 for the following year's budget.
The owner of a property assessed at
A 2% increase had been proposed for 2018, but officials determined it was unnecessary largely due to debt refinancing savings and one-time windfalls.
Council avoided the administration's proposed 3% tax hike in 2019 by cutting spending requests in many departments and using part of a one-time surplus.
Some council members had predicted this solution would make 2020 budget balancing more challenging because around
However, the county may be catching a break on debt repayments, which had been set to increase from
After 2020, the debt payments are projected to rise again and range between
This year's general fund operating budget is
The correctional services division is the top budgetary expense, with an allocation of
One unknown in this division is the cost of a new contract for inmate health care services that has not yet been presented to council for approval. The county currently pays
Ranking second in overall division allocations is the court system, which is currently earmarked at
Approving a budget is one of the essential duties of the 11-member, part-time council because it sets spending limits for the administration for a year.
The manager doesn't have to come to council for approval on purchases if he has enough budgeted funds to cover them unless the expenditures would cost the county
Health insurance for county employees is currently budgeted at
The general fund portion of the employee pension fund subsidy is
Annual taxpayer subsidy is necessary to close a pension shortfall that emerged years ago, when investment earnings and employee contributions stopped keeping pace with commitments for future pensions that are guaranteed by law. Two other drivers that have been cited by the actuary: People are living longer, and the revenue projected from investments had been unrealistically high.
The estimated net pension liability of the county's employee pension fund -- the gap between assets and future obligations -- was
Following Tuesday's budget presentation, council will hold its first budget work session to review the retirement fund, debt and the contingency reserve.
The other budget sessions -- all held at the courthouse with the exception of the
An optional budget work session has been scheduled for
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