Budget Adoption Process
Last week I wrote about the results of the 2015 Monroe County budget hearings. This upcoming week, the Monroe County Council will formally adopt the 2015 budget, as well as the property tax rates and levies needed to raise the revenues for the budget (not all funds in the budget to be adopted are supported by property taxes). In addition, the Council will adopt the budget and property tax rates and levies for the two other units of government for which the County Council has binding authority: Perry-Clear Creek Fire Protection District and Monroe County Solid Waste Management District.
For all three units, budget adoption will happen over two evenings, Tuesday, October 14 and Wednesday, October 15. Tuesday will consist of what is called first reading: the budget total, tax rate, and tax levy will be read into the record for each fund for each unit. For the Monroe County budget adoption, the 2015 salary ordinance will also be introduced for first reading. The council will discuss, and public comment will be taken. No votes will be taken on first reading. The council will also be discussing our appeal for an excess levy to correct several past errors in assessed value.
On Wednesday, we will essentially repeat the procedure. Budgets, tax rates, and tax levies will be read into the record for the second time for all three units (Monroe County, Perry-Clear Creek, and Solid Waste), the council will discuss, and public comment will be taken. Votes on adopting the budget will be conducted at the end of each deliberation.
Note that the County Council can make changes to the proposed budgets as well, before voting on adoption.
The budget adoption on Tuesday will be conducted along with a regular County Council meeting, so the agenda will be somewhat complicated. The full agenda and packet are available here. Following is the summary of the agenda on Tuesday, though:
- Regular County Council meeting is called to order at 5:30PM
- At 6PM, the regular meeting will be recessed, and the hearing for the adoption of the budgets for Perry-Clear Creek Fire Protection District and Monroe County Solid Waste Management District.
- The adoption hearing for the two units will be continued until Wednesday, after first reading
- The regular County Council meeting will resume until its conclusion
- After adjournment of the regular County Council meeting, the budget adoption hearing for Monroe County will be called to order
- After first reading of the Monroe County budget, rates, and levies, the budget adoption will be continued until Wednesday
Budgets, Tax Rates, and Levies
So are the budgets, rates, and levies that will actually be adopted?
The proposed budget to be adopted for Monroe County is $60,602,338, spread across 47 different funds. 13 of these funds are what is called “Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF)-Reviewed Funds”, which means that the state reviews our budgets, rates, and levies after we adopt them. These DLGF-reviewed funds are:
- General (this is supported by property taxes and miscellaneous revenue)
- 2015 Reassessment (this is supported by property taxes)
- Debt Payment (this is the mortgage on the Showers building, supported by property taxes)
- Bond #2 (this is a $2M one-year general obligation bond that the County Commissioners are proposing to pay for some building improvement and maintenance projects — the council has not yet voted on this bond; the bond would be supported by property taxes)
- Convention and Visitors Bureau (this is supported by the innkeepers’ tax)
- Highway (supported by the state gas tax as well as the local wheel and excise surtax, sometimes called the local option highway user tax, or LOHUT)
- Local Road & Street (also supported by state gas tax and local wheel and excise surtax)
- Cumulative Bridge (this is supported by property taxes)
- Health (this is supported by property taxes)
- Park Non-reverting Capital fund (this is supported by park fees, such as shelter rentals)
- County Fair (this is supported by property taxes)
- Aviation/Airport (this is supported by property taxes as well as airport user fees)
- Cumulative Capital Development (this is supported by property taxes)
The DLGF-reviewed funds have a total budget of $38,177,152, a proposed tax levy of $25,283,487, and a proposed tax rate of 0.4602 for every $100 of assessed value.
The remaining 44 funds are called home-ruled funds, and are not reviewed by the state. Several of the more significant of these funds include:
- County Option Income Tax (COIT) fund that supports many critical county functions that used to be in the General Fund
- Juvenile County Option Income Tax (JCOIT) fund that supports juvenile facilities
- Monroe County E-911, which receives 911 fees from the state (paid by phone subscribers) and used to support the unified dispatch center
- Stormwater Management, which receives the stormwater fees collected by the county from property owners outside of the incorporated areas of Bloomington and Ellettsville (which have their own stormwater fees)
- Supplemental Public Defender Fee, which receives reimbursements from the state for felony cases defended by the public defender
- The three Monroe County TIF districts, which receive property taxes from the allocation areas for each of the districts
The total budget for these home-ruled funds is $22,425,186.
The complete list of funds, tax rates, and tax levies that make up the Monroe County budget can be found in the 2015 Ordinance for Appropriations and Tax Rate for Monroe County.
Perry-Clear Creek Fire Protection District
The total proposed 2015 budget for the Perry Clear Creek Fire Protection District is $2,322,200, split across two funds: Cumulative Fire, which is used to purchase equipment and pay for the construction of the new fire station, and Fire General, which is used for general operations of the fire department.
The proposed tax levy is $1,544,583 and the proposed tax rate is 0.1532 for every $100 of assessed value.
The amounts for each fund can be found in the 2015 Ordinance for Appropriations and Tax Rate for Perry-Clear Creek.
Monroe County Solid Waste Management District
The total proposed 2015 budget for the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District is $2,949,934, split across two funds: the Solid Waste Management fund, which is used for the operations of the district, and the Debt Service fund, which is used to pay the bond used for the landfill closure.
The proposed tax levy is $1,860,000 and the proposed tax rate is 0.0287 for every $100 of assessed value.
The amounts for each fund can be found in the 2015 Ordinance for Appropriations and Tax Rate for Solid Waste District.
Hope to see members of the public there on Tuesday and Wednesday!