Local News

County Budget Heard

Thayer County Commissioners got a little good news last week as county CPA Brian Blobaum presented the 2012-13 budget.

In August Blobaum warned the officials that if nothing changed, they would be looking at using $1.1 million of the inheritance tax to keep the records on an even keel. It’s a viable solution when it comes to balancing the books, Blobaum said, as several counties are known to do it, but Thayer County commissioners have always expressed reluctance at doing so. Better to have the funds on hand for real emergencies instead of day-to-day business is the consensus among the three officials.

Blobaum’s warning came in his annual precursory report before the 2012 property valuations were released. The report is a procedure that takes place every year for the express purpose of capturing a glimpse of what’s to come. No budgets can be determined until the release of valuation figures, but the accountant can offer his best educated guess allowing officials a head start at determining the year’s expenses.

This year the commissioners were faced with skyrocketing health insurance costs – 14 percent increases are not uncommon, salary increases,  and a large increase in operating expenses and fuel for the Road Department.

Revenue without hospital, hospital bond, grant, and inheritance funds saw an increase of 1.21 percent to help offset the expenditures. The year before, revenues increased by 3.08 percent helping to lower the levy to .26 cents.

At the annual budget hearing last Wednesday, the commissioners agreed to leave the levy the same after 2012 valuations showed a 7.64 percent increase over 2011. The county’s property value rose from $1.01 billion to $1.09 billion, and although the commissioners have been able to lower the levy for the last three years due to increasing valuation, this year chose to leave it the same to make up for the extra expenses pointed out by Blobaum.

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