Commentary

JUDGE’S COMMENTS

David Barkemeyer
Milam County Judge

County budget cuts help ‘rainy day’ fund W e’re one third of the way through the year already, so it’s time to give you an update on how things are going financially.

In January I reported that in the general fund we were facing a deficit of some $1.5 million if we followed the budget as set for the year. I said that this was a challenge, not a crisis, if we tackled the situation early on and took the necessary action.

I am happy to report the folks who make up the 30 or so departments are averaging right at 10 percent under budget and on the revenue side our fine and fee collection efforts are paying off nicely.

If we continue at the present levels my projections show that we might very well end the year without having to use any of our severely depleted reserve funds.

We’ve collected 100 percent of the $6.2 million budgeted ad valorem taxes for the year, project approximately $1 million in sales taxes, and at the current rate will take in just under $2 million in fines, fees, and other income for a little over $9 million in total general fund revenue projected for 2011.

If we come in at 10 percent plus under the $10.6 million we will spend approximately $9.5 million.

You say it looks like we’re still half a million short. You’re right, but Kollette Morgan, our tax assessor, tells me we typically collect about that much more in property taxes each year over and above the budgeted $ 6.2 million.

With that in mind, I’m optimistic that we should be able to preserve or maybe even build up our depleted $300,000 “rainy day” fund a little, presuming we don’t have some sort of unexpected disaster during the year.

The commissioners, meanwhile, continue to manage their funds wisely in the four road and bridge accounts, each being allocated some $ 830,000 per year in ad valorem tax funds and $300,000 in auto license fee revenues.

Precincts 1 and 3 are running approximately $50,000 and 2 and 4 about $125,000 under budget thus far on a million and a quarter annual budget.

We’re planning toward a fifth road and bridge budget beginning in 2012 in order to establish a full time capital crew to begin a permanent road improvement program. More on that later.

Check the budget section of ourwebsiteatwww.milamcounty.neteach month for all the details.

Let me say thank you publicly to all our elected officials and county employees for all your hard work and sacrifice, you’re doing a great job, keep up the good work.

Also thank you to you taxpayers, including those of you that go out of your way to shop Milam County.

That $100,000 in sales tax, in addition to your property taxes, makes a big difference. We’ll try to spend it carefully on our end.


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2011-05-12 digital edition



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