Archive for Wednesday, July 25, 2007

County looks to trim from preliminary levy

July 25, 2007

Leavenworth County commissioners will meet with their budget consultant today to try to trim from a preliminary 2008 budget that would call for a 6-mill increase in property taxes next year.

Commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m. today with Steve Wagner, a Leavenworth certified public accountant who assists each year with the county budget.

A figure presented last week put the preliminary levy for 2008 at 34 mills. That would mean the owner of a home valued at $100,000 would pay approximately $391 to fund the county budget in 2008, about $66 more than this year.

Commission Chairman J.C. Tellefson said last week the bottom line proposed expenditures for the county are at $49.3 million compared to the $43.3 million that was approved for 2007.

That figure does not include salary increases and changes in benefits for county employees.

Tellefson stressed, however, that all figures are in the initial stages, with an official budget scheduled for release in August.

"We've got to start cutting," he said.

Commissioner Clyde Graeber agreed that now is the time to go back and begin trimming the larger budgets that county departments have submitted.

"We're being a little aggressive in our expenditures, and we're low-balling our revenue," Wagner told commissioners last week.

Wagner said he still had some information to compile. "So we'll be getting more money in than we're budgeting for. If we are short, though, we want to know now and not next year when we don't have a carryover balance," he said.

There was some discrepancy in exactly how much in unexpended funds would be available to start 2008.

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