Sales tax fate still unknownPublished 10:22am Tuesday, December 17, 2013
The possibility of certifying more in the county’s emergency services fund won’t apparently happen until after the first of the year, if then.
At a meeting of the budget commission on Monday to certify the remainder of the revenue coming into the county, the issue of re-certification of the one-half percent sales tax was discussed.
Commissioner Les Boggs has repeatedly pushed during commission meetings to increase the certification of the sales tax revenue in the emergency fund by $115,000, arguing that the budget commission shortchanged that fund. Boggs had promised the county’s emergency medical services an additional $300,000 on top of the $1 million the county supplemented the EMS this year.
However Boggs joined the other two commissioners in unanimously approving a general fund budget for 2014 where with an estimated carryover of approximately $620,000 and a county allotment of $780,000, the EMS is scheduled to get $1.4 million supplement next year.
County Treasurer Stephen Burcham, one of three members of the budget commission, brought up the desire of the commissioner for a recertification.
“The $115,000, which they think they need in certification, have we looked at anything,” Burcham asked.
County Auditor Jason Stephens, who along with County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson and Burcham make up the budget commission, said the commission should wait until after the first of the year to get a more accurate picture of the county’s finances.
“Definitely we can look at it and see what the real revenue and carryover in 2013 is and go from there,” Stephens said. “Once we see the actual numbers at the first week of January, otherwise it is just a guess.”
After the meeting Stephens said he wants to see the actual figures on how much was taken in and how much the county has spent before considering any recertification. He noted that despite the public discussion about recertification, the county commission has not formally requested the budget commission to review that item.
In other action the budget commission approved an amended certificate of revenue for 2013 of $72,322,855.41 that includes $15,032,177 in the general fund and $44,870,128 in special revenue funds. That is an increase of $106,854 over what was originally certified and is comprised of a reduction in the group home fund by $7,000 because the expected amount to gain from housing did not materialize; an increase in the courthouse/jail fund by $87,592 from insurance and bond proceeds; an increase in the sheriff’s repair fund of $20,422 from fees; an increase in the block development grants of $5,470; and an increase in the courthouse fund of $370 from interest payment.
The commission also amended the certificate of revenue for the City of Ironton stating that outstanding appropriations for the flood, recreation and water treatment equipment replacement funds exceed the last amended official estimate of resources for 2013.
The recreation fund that started the year with a prior year deficit of $14,716 is slated to have a deficit cash balance of $4,263. The flood fund, which started 2013 with a deficit of $6,334, is slated to end the year $16,864 in the red. The water treatment equipment replacement fund, which started 2013 in the black with a cash balance of $80,951, is scheduled to end the year $7,948 in the red.
The next two meetings of budget commission are scheduled to be 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 30 and Monday, Jan. 14. The meetings are open to the public.