County budget gets hearing
The first of two hearings was held Monday evening at the Pierce County Courthouse for the county’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget.
A projected 63.20 mills are part of the 2018 mill levy, with 37.70 of them going toward the county’s general fund. Other mills being levied include 1 mill for state medical, 1 mill for the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District, and 1.17 mills for soil conservation.
The proposed budget is a decrease from the fiscal year 2017 budget. Last year county mills were at 69.43.
For a home valued at $100,000, the tax bill would be $298.67 (down last year from $312.44). For a $200,000 home, the tax bill would be $597.33 (down last year from $624.87).
Projected for the 2018 budget is over $8.105 million in appropriations, with over $2.15 million coming from the general fund and over $5.95 million coming from special revenue funds.
The appropriations for the proposed budget are down more than $1.7 from fiscal year 2017.
Special revenue funds are down as well this year due to the county budgeting less money for Farm to Market roads, which is due to road projects being almost complete and the state distributed funds for those projects.
At the end of 2017 the remaining balance in the general fund is projected to be $420,424.74. In special revenue funds the end balance for 2017 is projected to be over $2.62 million.
Fursather said the county has seen new expenses it has never had to budget for before, including Marsy’s Law and cyber-security.
Fursather said the county is expected to see a 10 percent decrease in state aid, as well as a $4,500 decrease in highway distribution monies.
Fursather said the state is funding Social Services-which is a partial reason for the decrease in budget-however the amount allocated by the state ($565,200) would not be enough as it was based on 2015 expenses.
“We’re hoping we can work with it,” said County Commission Chairman Dave Migler.
Area resident and state legislator Jon Nelson asked what changes had taken place with land valuations. Fursather said that ag land had increased by 2 percent, while residential properties decreased, with the exception of owners who added onto or made improvements to their properties.
The final hearing for the 2018 budget will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
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