County approves alternative tax budget plan

By Dean Wright -

GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Commissioners held a public hearing Thursday morning to discuss and approve the 2018 alternative tax budget.

County Administrator Karen Sprague prepared information for the hearing and the alternative tax budget was submitted to the Gallia Auditor’s Office Sept. 19.

A review of the county general fund with estimated receipts and expenditures is listed as followed with a carryover from 2015 to 2016 from the previous year to date’s public meeting. Carryover into 2016 cash balance was listed as $1,397,241. 36. Revenues accrued in 2016 numbered at $9,350,579. 64. The year end cash balance was listed as $1,469,989.52.

The carryover into 2017 was the same amount of $1,469,989.52. Estimated revenues for 2017 totaled around $8,552,181.58. Estimated expenditures for the year total around $9,220,403.18. The estimated year end cash balance is anticipated to be $801,767.92.

The estimated carryover into 2018 is the same $801,767.92 figure. Estimated revenues total at $8,491,198.07. Requested departmental budgets for expenditures total at $10,663,840.35. Estimated year end cash balance sits at $1,370,874.36.

The commission will discuss what needs to be cut from the departmental wish list.

According to Gallia Commissioner Harold Montgomery the county will need to take into account a loss in $600,000 per year from tax which would have been gathered from an MCO sales tax which has been discussed at length with some controversy over the better course of a year. The Ohio Senate eventually decided to not override a veto of Gov. John Kasich to eliminate the MCO sales tax monies which were taken in my county governments. However, Gallia County has been given a one time stipend of around $900,000 to make up for the $600,000 loss.

According to past statements by Sprague, the commission would need to meet with various county department heads in November and December to discuss what is of the utmost need to each department and what the county can afford to distribute to each group to make sure the budget is balanced and to make certain that carryover funds are not completely used for operating costs.

According to past statements by Commissioner David Smith, the state auditor recommends counties have a two-month carryover of funds. Smith said the county tries to keep carryover balances to around $1.4 million.

Sprague has said the first three to four months of the new year, the county has not yet gotten its second major source of revenue, which is real estate tax. Those are not due until March, so the money does not come into the county coffers until April. County officials do what is possible to ensure there is money to continue operating for that time period with the year end funds.

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright