Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

County Hears Budget Report

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

County Hears Budget Report

Article excerpt

Shawnee County's financial picture is much better than it was a year ago, County Commission Chairman Bob Archer said Thursday.

Archer attributed that to the "very, very tough" decisions commissioners made in August 2013 in crafting this year's county budget.

Archer spoke at a morning meeting in which he and Commissioners Kevin Cook and Shelly Buhler heard a monthly financial report from Betty Greiner, the county's financial administrator.

Greiner said county revenues during the first six months of this year totaled $86,251,000, more than the budgeted amount for that time period of $82,873,000.

She added that expenditures for the six months totaled $43,994,000, which is less than the budgeted amount of $45,562,000.

County revenues historically outpace expenditures by mid-July because the county receives its major distributions of property taxes in January and June, meaning most of its revenue has been received by June 30 while expenditures are spread throughout the year.

Greiner gave credit to county departments Thursday for "working hard to keep expenses down and watch every dollar."

Greiner acknowledged county expenditures for June were $215,000 more than was budgeted. She said she couldn't yet tell if that might be the start of a trend.

Archer said the county was "starting to see a payoff" from the tough budget decisions commissioners made last August, when they approved a 2014 county budget that included cutting county expenses by $4 million from the previous year's budget total and raising the property tax levy by 3.98 mills.

Commissioners are currently meeting with department heads while working to craft the county's 2015 budget, which they plan to finalize next month.

Commissioners also voted 3-0 Thursday to approve a consent agenda that included their publicly recognizing that increases in employee benefit packages are inevitable. …

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