For whatever reasons, I have just now got around to downloading and begin a preliminary look at the proposed and recommended Washington County Operating Budget for FY 09-10.
BUDGET IN BRIEF
Fiscal Years 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 have posed serious financial challenges for the County government. In reaction to sagging revenues resulting from slowed growth, a declining percentage increase in real property valuation and the current national economic crises, all County government Offices, departments and agencies were asked to submit budget requests showing at least a 10% reduction in non-personnel operating expenses for FY2009-2010. This 10% reduction was applied equally wherever possible throughout the Recommended County Operating Budget. In large measure,however, this 10% reduction was offset by significant, mandatory increases in County funding to certain operations (notably the Regional Jail and Comprehensive Services Act) and for debt obligations (former AEP Building acquisition by the County and property acquisition by the County’s Industrial Development Authority) where the County has little to no flexibility in determining local funding. A 1.5% reduction in County funds to Washington County Public Schools is recommended in the budget, or about $358,000 less that the amount of County funds made available in the current fiscal year. No general salary increases for non-School personnel are recommended, either for locally-funded or state-funded positions. The Recommended Budget is based on maintaining the current $0.57 tax rate for the coming fiscal year.
The above is taken directly from the Budget document. I commend the effort to make certain cuts in the budget. Families across the county are having to do the very same thing. I’ll be posting some observations about the budget and will have those up possibly this afternoon, or more likely, tomorrow.