County Budget Balanced, Deficit Wiped Out

Crawford County commissioners on Wednesday signed the FY2019 budget, which represents a true balance and the end of debt.

Commissioners and County Clerk John Martin credited taxpayers for coming to the rescue last April with a general revenue sales tax increase.

Because of the tax increase, the county was able to achieve all the items commissioners laid out when they made the pitch last spring.

Commissioners also praised officeholders for maintaining discipline throughout the year.

The budget is truly balanced, more than $350,000 worth of debt accrued over the last several years has been wiped out, new software has been purchased and $200,000 has been set aside in reserves.

Last year’s budget process was grueling and nearly included several painful cuts to personnel. A last-minute reversal saved general revenue employees from seeing their hours go from 40 to 32 per week.

There was no such dilemma this year as three months of increased sales tax collection and rollovers from the general revenue have put the county on the right track, according to Martin.

“That number is gone,” said the clerk about the $358,000 in debt. The county had an accounting firm reconcile its books late last year to determine a figure. “You have successfully wiped out the deficit. Your budget is truly balanced. It could not have been done without the taxpayers.”

“Thank you, taxpayers,” said District 2 Commissioner Jared Boast.

Martin presented the budget Tuesday and the county held an all-day meeting to tweak it. They met again Wednesday morning to sign. Martin had to submit it to Jefferson City by Thursday.

The county is projecting a year-end balance of $338,528.43. Through January, the current cash balance was -$31,694.27, but Martin said the month’s revenue would officially cancel it out.

Overall, FY2019 general revenue is projected at $3.4 million. The bulk — nearly $2.2 million — will come from sales tax. The county budgeted a little more than $1.1 million last year and ended up with $1.2 million due to the sales tax increase beginning in October.

Sullivan Independent News

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