Thursday, January 6, 2011

Commissioners pass 2011 county budget

Commissioners sign $14.7 million 2011 budget
By Bob Robinson

Commissioners signed a $14,728,394.14 General Fund Budget for 2011 Wednesday, an increase of more than $176,000 over the 2010 Budget.

Revenues, however, are expected to decrease by nearly $300,000.

Darke County Commissioner Mike Rhoades said the difference between expenses and income, totaling about $476,000, will be pulled from a 2011 unencumbered balance (carryover) of more than $2 million. If the budget goes according to plan, that will leave a carryover of approximately $1.5 million for the 2012 budget. The 2010 carryover was just short of $470 thousand.

The commissioners said 2010 was tough, and keeping a once-again tight budget for 2011 was hard for all Department Heads, especially in light of increasing expenses.

Rhoades noted that the budget increase for this year was due almost exclusively to increases in utilities. Budget revenue decreases are at least partially due to sales tax refunds to businesses by the State for over-payment in recent years.

In 2010, from January to October, the county lost $192,000 in sales tax revenues, and commissioners have been advised they will lose another $443,000 over the next two years. Ohio does not release the names of the businesses receiving these refunds.

The General Fund plus all outside funds for Darke County in 2011 is just over $52.3 million. Outside funds are funding sources other than the General Fund – state, federal, grants, etc. – over which commissioners, by law, have administrative control.

The budget, submitted by Darke County Auditor Carol Ginn, reads as follows:

January 5, 2011

Darke County Commissioners:

I am submitting the Darke County 2011 General Fund Appropriations in the amount of $14,728,394.14. This reflects an increase of $176,321.29 over the 2010 Appropriations of $14,552,072.85. Inclusive of all outside funds the total appropriated amount for Darke County for 2011 is $52,311,012.09.

The estimated revenue for the Darke County General Fund is $12,563,298.46. This reflects a decrease in estimated revenue of $293,417.25 over the 2010 estimated revenue of $12,829,715.71.

The 2011 unencumbered balance for the Darke County General Fund is $2,192,095.68. This reflects an increase over the 2010 unencumbered balance of $469,738.54.

The unencumbered 2011 balance of $2,192,095.68 was achieved due to the conservative efforts of the Darke County elected officials and Department Heads working together.

Carol Ginn
Darke County Auditor

Bob Robinson is the retired editor of The Daily Advocate, Greenville, Ohio. If you wish to receive a daily notification of his comments, opinions and reports, send your email address to: Feel free to express your views.

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