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Tax increase from board of commissioners unlikely

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Tax increase from board of commissioners unlikely

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Revenues under budget — but so are expenses

JONES COUNTY

The first workshop for the 2019 budget year appeared to have good news for Jones County taxpayers and employees.

The Aug. 9 meeting was called to order by Board of Commissioners chairman Chris Weidner, and county administrator Jason Rizner handled the budget reports.

He started with revenues for the current year to give board members a financial health update.

Although it appeared the receipts would be short of the 2018 budget estimates, the good news was the expenses were also under projected amounts. As Rizner read the numbers for each department, a majority appeared to be well under budget for their expenses.

After that information, there was no mention of a tax increase, which seems to be plaguing nearby counties.

Chief Financial Officer Lavita Crutchfield said the estimate for Jones County’s 2019 tax digest shows a small increase of $300,000 in property taxes.

Rizner said he had met with department heads and had divided their requests into essential items that were added to the expense budget and a list of special requests to be considered by the commissioners.

Those special requests totaled $1,843,503 but included a $1 million request by Commissioner Daylon Martin for capital projects in District 4. The special requests also included a 4 percent raise for county employees at a cost of $360,000.

The administrator added that the jail expansion was not included in the budget, and funding options for the project would be discussed in future workshops.

A called meeting to set a tentative millage rate followed by another budget workshop was scheduled for 4 p.m., Aug. 14.