2021 County Budget

Oct 20, 2020, County Council Meeting.   No surprises. The state allows counties to accept an increase in taxes as a result of a calculation referred to as the Growth Quotient. This year it is around $130K  and was approved by the Council. The increase will be shared by property owners.

  • County employees received a 3% cost of living increase.
  • The budget accommodates an increase associated with ambulance service and employees’ health insurance costs.
  • Facebook Post – BCM
    • Commentary: This is the third year I sat through the budget process. With the exception of the consultants and attorneys that work within the system, I do not think there is a citizen in the county – if not Indiana (including our county elected officials) that could explain the financial report, taxes, property assessment, appraisal, and budget processes. Note that by law, We the People are responsible for the performance of the system and lack the knowledge to provide the needed oversight. You can delegate accountability to an elected official but not responsibility. A solution could include a Go Fund Me campaign to developed a needed citizen guide.

 

Nov 10, 2020. County budget approved; slight tax increase included By

Sep 22, 2020.  Council moves $500,000 to pay health insurance for rest of year By 

Unlike the Schools, the county has an expensive and high-risk plan that routinely exceeds budget projections. In 2019, it was $650,000 over and in 2018 $700,000.

Sep 1, 2020. BCD. County adjusts budget requests for 2021; forecast revenue drops around 5 percent By

Aug 21, 2020. Brown County Matters – Notes from the hearings.

County Council – Budget Hearings Aug 17-19, 2020 – Notes.

o. Potential GOOD News – Projected costs expected to be less than projected revenue by roughly 147K at this point. Kudos to the Offices and Departments that provide in the words of the county consultant, “reasonable and workable” budgets. State and federal grant money also helped to supplement lost revenue due to Covid.

o. Near Final Budget for 2021. This will occur in October which provides the needed time to confirm overall assessed property values, revenue projections from the state and feds (grant money), and county costs. The State also builds in a “growth” related increase (3-4% range?). The county can opt to decline this increase that generally results in passing on modest increases in tax rates. Note also that the council’s “budget” determines the extent of any property tax increases..

o. Music Center / Convention Visitors Commission (CVC). The bank is requiring that the Music Center retain 50%of the revenue from the innkeeper’s tax to help ensure the venue can meet interests and principal payments. The county “loaned” the center up to $150K from the motor vehicle fund to cover interest payments and it is expected that interest only payments will continue through the first quarter of next year.

o. Music Center / Convention Visitors Commission (CVC). The bank is requiring that the Music Center retain 50%of the revenue from the innkeeper’s tax to help ensure the venue can meet interests and principal payments. The county “loaned” the center up to $150K from the motor vehicle highway fund to cover interest payments. It is expected that interest-only payments will continue through the first quarter of next year.cision-making.

o. Music Center / Convention Visitors Commission (CVC). The bank is requiring that the Music Center retain 50%of the revenue from the innkeepers tax to help ensure the venue can meet interests and principal payments. The county “loaned” the center up to $150K from the motor vehicle highway fund to cover interest payments. It is expected that interest-only payments will continue through the first quarter of next year.

o. Note that by Statute (
IC 6-9-14), the council is responsible for reviewing and approving the CVC budget which in the past has basically consisted of the CVC identifying the amount of revenue expected and that will be spent (generally, all of it). This hands-off approach contributed to the council not requiring a hold-back of revenue to cover mortgage payments vice the bank having to step-in. Before the Music Center, over 90% of the revenue was transferred to the Convention Visitors Bureau (CVB) (a non-profit) that was responsible for marketing and promoting tourism.

o. Music Center – County Meetings. I may have been the only citizen that attended all three sessions. No waiting in line and a wide range of seating choices. 🙂 Suzannah Couch from the Democrat also attended all the sessions – looking forward to reading about her perspective.

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