Lebanon Reporter

October 3, 2013

County to vote on $17 million in spending

By Rod Rose
Assistant Managing Editor

Lebanon — Boone County’s 2014 budget won’t be finalized until the Boone County Council votes on the document at its meeting next Tuesday.

Confusion came this year, County Auditor Deanna Willhoite said, because the state had combined both general fund and county option income tax revenue, rather than separating those amounts as it had for the 2012 and 2013 budgets.

For the 2013 budget, the county received $17,994,576 in general fund and COIT money, Willhoite said. For the 2014 budget, that projected combined total is $995,000 less.

Property tax and the county option income tax, plus miscellaneous income from grants and reimbursements, comprise the county’s revenue sources. Including those sources, the county’s projected revenue is just over $26 million next year.

At first the council thought it was confronted with a $4.2 million shortfall. Some expenses were duplicated, however, and the actual gap was closer to $2.8 million.

“We managed to come within a hair’s breadth of balancing the budget,” Councilman Brent Wheat said.

Cuts were made almost across the board, he said. Although some expenses were moved to different funds — basically, specific spending accounts — “in my three years on the council, these were the most severe cuts we’ve made.”

The council had expected it would be in stronger financial shape, but was unpleasantly surprised by revenue that was below projections, Wheat said.

See Thursday's Lebanon Reporter for more on this story.