Owen County Government's 2010 budget requests have now been posted.  Budget hearings will be held on August 20th, 21st, and possibly the 22nd, in the second floor meeting room of the Owen County Courthouse.

 

Budget hearings are open to the public and are designed to provide an opportunity for you to voice concerns or questions you may have regarding county budgets. I invite you to be a part of the process. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about the process, please ask.

 

Our County Auditor had provided budget data to me and I created an electronic copy in Microsoft Excel format of the budget requests for you. Here is a link to the taxpayer resource page of this site:

2010 County Budget Requests

Many decisions for 2010 are going to be made at these hearings based on where we are at with the current 2009 budget and the details surrounding any proposed increases in 2010.  We will match the requests with the short-term and long-term challenges we have to address. In addition, we have to review current budget appropriations and consider the state's financial projections/limitations for our county.  For 2010, we will continue to address issues such as vehicle rotations for the Sheriff and EMS Departments, courthouse security, wages/salaries structure adjustments and enhancements, and the Local Option Income Tax.

 

Now that you have this information available to view, there are a couple of comments I want to make which may help put the process into perspective:

BUDGET REQUESTS

The 2010 budget requests are simply that--REQUESTS. By law, we have to advertise budget amounts in advance of the hearings. The advertised amounts are always much much higher than what winds up being approved because it gives us maximum flexibility in addressing the demand for our services and making adjustments. So, please do not be alarmed at things that may seem very high in dollar amount. As a Council member, my duty is to review each line item carefully, establish/justify needs, and match that up with priorities on any amounts before final approval.  In addition, we have to pass and operate under a balanced budget structure, so we can only pass an operating budget that we can pay for.

 

GOVERNMENT FUNDING

All county government services are funded from a variety of different revenue sources.

There is always a lot of discussion concerning property taxes. Depending on whether you live in the Town of Spencer or out in Washington Township, county government services pull between 16.5% and 21.7% of each property tax dollar you pay. Compared to last year, these percentages are higher not because county government has increased taxes, but because some of the schools' operating funds are no longer taken from property tax.  Thus, all of the remaining taxing units (including the county) have a larger share of the overall amount.  Here is a breakdown for 2009 (the current budget year):

District Two Property Tax Breakdown per Dollar (2009-Current Year)

Some departments and budgets are not funded by property tax.  In addition to property tax, other county revenue sources include, but are not limited to, income tax, motor vehicle taxes, service fees, 911 surcharges, interest, and state-distributed money.

Thank you for your time today. Additional information about the Owen County Council, myself, and local government can be found on this website. Please feel free to contact me with your questions/concerns.

 

Paid for by Anton Karl Neff personally