County To Have Almost $1M Less To Spend
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Due to a decrease in state and federal grants, Cannon County Government is projected to have nearly $1 million less revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

That was one of the facts to emerge as the Budget Committee of the Cannon County Commission began hearings Thursday night to work toward establishing a budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

It also appears unlikely that there will be an increase in the property tax rate, and the door is at least open for a pay increase, possibly 3 percent, for county employees.

County Executive Mike Gannon said while the county will have less revenue coming in next year, there will also be less expenses.

"The majority of the decrease can be attributed to the loss of one-time grants, such as the ones received for this year for the courthouse project and homeland security," Gannon said. "However, those expenditures will not exist either."

Total estimated revenue for 2011-2012 is $4,780,807, down from $5,696,799 this year. A majority of the revenue will come from property, sales, litigation, business and beer taxes ($2,942,225).

Court fines, forfeitures and penalties are expected to bring in $72,550. Ambulance service charges and other fees should bring in $496,150. Fees received from services provided by county offices could bring in $402,550. State grants are projected to raise $436,817 and federal grants $115,748.

After going over the projected revenues, the budget committee began the process of reviewing the budget requests from the county's various departments and agencies. Two of the five members of the committee, Clint Higgins and Bill Jennings, were unable to attend, leaving commissioners Mark Barker and Kevin George and citizen representative James Adkins to handle the task.

The County Executive's Office submitted a request of $172,463, up from $172,260 for this year. Register of Deeds is asking for $112,416, an increase from its request of $108,492 for 2010-2011 but down from the estimated $118,092 it is estimated to spend.

County Buildings wants an increase from $202,412 to $219,015, while the Property Assessor's Office seeks an increase to $121,536 from 117,143.

The County Trustee's Office, which converted from an office operated on fees to one operated on salary when Wayne Prater became Trustee following last year's election, turned in a budget request of $145,948. Prater estimates his office will generate $185,000 for the General Fund next year.

The Budget Committee will continue hearings next Thursday at 6 p.m. at the courthouse. Budget requests for the county's court offices and the sheriff's department will be on the agenda.
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