During the county board committee of the whole meeting Wednesday night, County Administrator
County board members voted in 2016 to stop collecting pensions and health benefits.
"Pension costs -- this is something we are required to do," Snider said. "We must pay IMRF. They don't ask; they tell you. When that bill comes in every month, we have to pay it. Pension costs are rising at a minimum of 11.6% over 2019. This lays a load on the tax levy."
The 2020 general fund budget is projected at
Snider is projecting the liability insurance fund to increase by
"Our civil division said we have to have
Snider said the general fund budget was initially short by
He gave credit to Sheriff
In his overall assessment of county operations and finances, Snider said county offices are generally understaffed and some offices have seen staff reductions by more than 50%.
The sheriff's department, for example, serves a population that is nearly 22% lower than
"The (sheriff's department) is an area of the county that is going to continue to grow," Snider said. "We are a big load with less people. We have a capital improvement plan that has no funding source. We have no reserves. There is no easy way out of this."
He said it's important to understand that only 12.7% of residents' property tax bill is from
The county's share of property tax bills will increase by an average of
Snider said the EAV (equalized assessed value) has increased by 1.7% due to new construction and county improvements, meaning the effective tax increase is closer to 7%.
"Everything we do is not a luxury. Most of what we do is a mandate; we have to do it," Snider said. "We are required to provide a justice center and operate a jail. We are mandated to provide the services of state's attorneys and public defenders. We have probation services, a health department, animal control services.
"We have more than 800 employees. We are a big operation," Snider said. "Our revenues are pretty much flat. Hopefully the cannabis revenue will give us a boost."
Snider told board members the county will be able to collect 3% in sales tax revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana when it becomes legal
The budget committee began working on the budget in June, deliberating during five open meetings over the last nine weeks.
The budget will be put on display for public inspection during the
"I'd like to thank the accounting firm of Snider, Palmer and Ewert," Swanson said. "I appreciate your very hard and diligent work and I look forward to passing this budget."
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