Commissioners continue to trim 2023
The Madison County Board of Commissioners continue to work toward trimming next year’s budget. Following the initial budget recommendations introduced at the Aug. 1 meeting, commissioner Troy Uhlir explained this week that commissioners have been continuing to work through the budget process and that substantial progress has been made toward streamlining the numbers, resulting in an overall budget increase of just over $1,000 from last year.
“Prior year we were at $18,049,540,” Uhlir said. “This year our ask is $18,051,828.”
Uhlir said that as of now, the county’s tax levy would actually decrease from 39 cents to 37 cents.
“It’s basically a 0% increase in our ask,” Uhlir said.
Based on official valuations, which are due within the coming weeks, the numbers could change slightly, but county officials expressed confidence in the budget that is proposed at this time.
Uhlir said the board is still considering a 2% budget “ask” increase, which would equate to about $360,000, which could cover equipment purchases.
“I’m a little hesitant to go with no increase,” Uhlir said.
Uhlir said no budget increase at all could create a shortage of needed budget dollars for next year. A 2% budget increase would still lower the tax levy by 1 cent.
It’s important to distinguish between tax levy increase and budget “ask,” as Uhlir pointed out. While increasing the budget slightly could leave the levy below last year’s, keeping the levy at 39 cents could result in a budget overage of almost $1 million.
“This year, with everything we heard in last year’s tax protests, we want to be as close as we can to last year’s ask. That, in turn, will lower the levy,” Uhlir said. “What we’ve done is try to absorb increases in other places to reduce (the budget).”
The commissioners agreed that while it’s important to keep the numbers as tight as possible, they need to allow for funds needed to operate effectively and efficiently.
County officials will host a budget review meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. at the Madison County Courthouse. The public is invited to attend.
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