Letter to the Editor

Commissioner offers more budget information

Monday, September 19, 2005

Dear Editor,

As I read the article in Tuesday, Sept. 13, Gazette titled "County passes budget after struggle with details," I decided that the details needed to be better explained, as I feel the citizens have the right to know where their money is being spent.

In the article it stated that the 2005-06 budget in-creased by $1.7 million. That is a true statement but let me explain where it comes from.

We have 25 funds that money gets distributed through. Out of these, only five use personal and real property tax funds (general, fair, institutions, horse arena and county health). The following is a list of the funds, 2004-05 budgeted, actual expense, budgeted 2005-2006 and either a increase or decrease.

As you can see the actual money spent in 04-05 verses budgeted is ($2,911,578.70) less showing that what is budgeted is not spent leaving us with some cash reserves for the next year.

Also if you will notice, taking out of the budget the Nursing Home operating (which we have no say in) of $1,348,985.00 our total county budget drops to an increase of $376,734.33.

Coming out of that $376,734.33 increase you have wage/benefits of approximately $56,000.00, liability insurance of $12,000.00, public defender and county court costs of $25,000.00, leaving approximately $285,000.00 budget increase to health insurance, fuel, repairs and general increased costs of doing business.

The only purchase we have approved but not yet have purchased is a GIS system for the Assessors office. I know as a county we need to keep up with technology and counting dots to measure acres is not where we need to be. This will give us the ability to look at property and measure property so our records will coincide with the other governmental agencies and give the public the service they are accustomed to.

This is just an overview of the county budget hoping that it might explain where your tax dollars go and to some extent why there was an increase in the tax levy.

I encourage anyone who has questions to please call or better yet attend one of our meetings, every Monday at 9 a.m. The public is always welcomed and you do not need to have your concerns sent to us in writing or be on the agenda to come and talk to us. We have an open door policy so stop in let us hear your concerns.

Thank you for your time.

Leigh T. Hoyt

3rd District


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