2013 County Budget Adjustments OK’d

A budget adjustment resulting in a $654,670 increase in 2013 general fund revenues and expenses, bringing the total general fund budget to 103,218,903, was given final approval at the Washtenaw County board of commissioners meeting on Sept. 4, 2013. [.pdf of 2013 budget adjustment chart] The vote was 8-1 with dissent from Conan Smith (D-District 9), but there was no discussion on this item.

An initial vote had been taken on Aug. 7, 2013, following significant debate and some failed amendments proposed by Smith. His amendments would have restored over $1 million in funding to programs and departments that had been cut in previous budget cycles. During the Aug. 7 meeting, other commissioners expressed general support for his sentiments, but cautioned against acting quickly and not giving sufficient strategic thought to these allocations, which they had seen for the first time that night.

Conan Smith, Alicia Ping (R-District 3) and Dan Smith (R-District 2) had dissented on the vote giving initial approval to the budget adjustments. Board approval is required for budget changes greater than $100,000 or a variance of more than 10%, whichever is less.

The county’s finance staff cited several factors related to the adjustments, including the fact that property tax revenues are $2.3 million higher than anticipated when the budget was approved in December 2012. The county is also receiving $205,344 more in state funding than was originally budgeted, from state liquor tax revenues.

On the expense side, $551,998 will be used to help pay for the trial court’s new records management software system. Those funds come from a refund to the court by the state of Michigan. There will also be an increase of $102,672 in expenses due to a higher substance abuse allocation mandated by Public Act 2 of 1986, and related to the higher liquor tax revenues that the county received. Those funds will go to the county’s designated substance abuse coordinating agency.

The 2013 general fund budget also is not expected to need a previously planned use of $2.8 million from the fund balance.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main. A more detailed report will follow: [link]