County budget to increase by 5%


By Mitchell Banks

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The county’s 2022 general fund budget is expected to grow by $660,000 or about 5% over this year’s budget when it’s adopted by the Jackson County Council in October.

In 2020, the council adopted a $12,765,091 budget for 2021 that was then certified by state. For 2022, it will be approximately $13,425,642.

The state’s maximum levy growth quotient is 4.35% for 2020. One less pay period this year, however, makes the difference appear to be right at 5%, Councilman Brian Thompson said.

A legal notice will be published in The Tribune about the county budget Friday, and the budget and salary ordinance hearing will be conducted during the council’s monthly meeting at 8 a.m. Sept. 15.

At this time, the budget includes a 4% pay raise for county employees, a percentage that could go up or down, but there are no guarantees, Thompson said.

He said overall, officeholders were “pretty steady in their requests” and there weren’t many changes requested for 2022.

Some of those changes had to do with pay for people who have different workloads than they have in the past year, he said.

Those include a busier IT department at the sheriff’s department, county building Commissioner Conner Barnette taking on the care of maintenance at the courthouse in Brownstown, the need for more on-call deputies at the coroner’s office and a translator at the Jackson County Probation Department.

The county election board’s budget also is increasing significantly due to 2022 being an election year. There’s no election this year so the budget is just $45,000. Next year’s budget request is $242,359.

One of the most significant changes to the budget was two new positions being added to the county’s public defender office — a part-time secretary and a full-time public defender, Thompson said.

Half of the funding for those positions would be paid for through the county’s general fund and the other half through a supplemental public defender fund that includes money collected through court fees and bonds, he said.

No jobs are expected to be cut as a part of the budget process, Thompson said.

Local income tax added a significant amount of revenue to this year’s budget due to two extra months of tax collection during last year’s cycle.

For next year’s budget, revenue generated by the county through LIT is expected to decrease due to making up for those two extra months of collection this cycle.

“The county budget should do a good portion of covering most needs that are requested this year,” Thompson said.

The budget is expected to be adopted Oct. 13 during the council meeting.

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