Polk County proposes $25 million budget with no pay increases, bonuses

Published 2:22 pm Monday, June 1, 2009

The county&squo;s general fund budget is proposed at $21,189,820, a 13.85 percent decrease from the current year&squo;s amended budget, which as of the end of April was $24,597,322.

The county&squo;s total real property valuation following the recent revaluation is $2,454,419,919. Those estimates are subject to change following appeals of the revaluation. Polk County is projecting a 96.5 percent tax collection rate to generate revenue from real property in the amount of $13,026,834.&bsp; Following the revaluation, the county&squo;s tax base grew $663,060,451, or 37.01 percent.

The motor vehicle tax base&bsp; projected at $168,310,600, which the county expects to generate $825,545 using a 89.18 percent collection rate.

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Every motor vehicle owner will be paying fewer taxes for vehicles owned and registered in Polk County due to the lowering of the property tax rate.

Total sales tax revenue is projected for next year at $1,781,938, which is a 41.26 percent decrease from current year sales tax projections. County manager Ryan Whitson says the projected decrease is due to decreased sales and sales tax restructuring due to the completion of the Medicaid payment swap between the state and its counties.

Polk is also proposing much less in permit and fee revenues at $326,758 projected for 2009/10, almost half of what the county collected in budget year 2007/2008.

Polk&squo;s capital project budget is proposed to drop to $200,000, which is an almost 96 percent decrease from the current year&squo;s capital project fund.

The proposed budget does include $150,000, which includes $60,000 in federal and state funding, to design a new human services facility so that the department of social services and four other county agencies can move out of the Jervey-Palmer building.

Other funding in the county&squo;s proposed budget includes $100,000 for general renovations to county facilities, $60,000 for county-wide water, $40,000 for county water line extensions and $40,000 for capital reserve for future Lake Adger Dam maintenance.

Other highlights of the budget include an approximate $7,000 decrease in the sheriff&squo;s department budget mainly because no new vehicles are budgeted and a chief deputy position is left unfilled.The county&squo;s Agricultural Economic Development has proposed cuts of $121,937, mainly in farmland preservation funds because those funds are not being used so far in the current year budget.