Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sullivan County Involved in Heavy Budget Negotiations Tonight
The Sullivan County proposed budget is still negative with low cash reserves but commissioners still donít want to increase property taxes or cut spending. They claimed to have inspected the budget for each department but see no way to balance next yearís spending plan without cuts. The county canít send out property tax notices until the budget is finalized and a tax rate is set. The new budget year starts July first and the county has hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial obligations. In the past Sullivan County has relied on surplus money to balance the budget but reserves may not be enough as the balance has grown from year to year. The county has not actually operated under a balanced budget for six years now. Layoffs in the sheriffs department and less funding for nonprofits was discussed but commissioners are not willing to talk about a tax increase. A temporary loan or a tax anticipation note may be the last resort but one canít be issued until the county sets the property tax rate. The County does have a solid credit rating and commissioners are involved now in what is described as heavy budget negotiations. (bg)

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