During the weekly meeting of the Wayne County Commissioners the 2014 budget was adopted.
During the weekly meeting of the Wayne County Commissioners the 2014 budget was adopted. The best news for taxpayers: There's no tax increase. The budget, which was presented for public review Nov. 27, was passed as proposed. The balanced budget totals $29,973,772.55, an overall increase of approximately $175,000 from this year's total, which was $29,798,682.46. Chief clerk Vicky Botjer said the $175,000 increase is scattered among line items for both revenues and expenditures. The commissioners met with elected officials and department heads to keep the budget “as low as possible,” but “still maintaining the necessary services” to all county residents. Funding reductions were again seen in several state and federal programs that are passed along to counties, “giving us less revenue” to fund mandated services and programs for county residents. Money that is being carried over from 2013 includes real estate property taxes, the levy and the delinquent levy tax claim, a total of $18,618,336.47 in taxes. Total inter-governmental revenue expected for 2014 is $6,703,283.90. This includes money from the Mental Health Program, Children and Youth, Emergency Management, Block Grants, court refunds, the Drug Task Force, federal lands, recycling grants, Fish Commission property, in lieu of taxes, Victims Intervention Program (VIP) and more. There are also various departmental charges, which total $3,560,902.18. They are fees that are generated through the public. These include 18 different charges coming from Children and Youth, District Justices, Sheriff, Coroner, Prothonotary, boarding fees for prisoners and more. Miscellaneous revenues total $336,500, bringing the total revenues expected for 2014 to $29,973,772.55. Total expenditures are $29,973,772.55. The following are some examples of changes in line items for expenditures from 2013 to 2014: • The commissioners see an increase in funds from $487,829.31 to $529,896.85. • Voter registration has increased from $54,088.84 to $57,907.06. • Conduct of Elections sees a decrease from $170,050 to $144,700. • Central telephone service stays the same at $80,000. • The Prothonotary's Office sees an increase from $397,916.14 to $406,355.75. • The District Attorney's Office sees an increase from $705,788.22 to $715,114.18. • Adult Probation sees a decrease from $506,534.71 to $495,750.66 while Juvenile Probation sees an increase from $317,934.28 to $336,688.11. • Emergency Management sees an increase from $117,860.64 to $300,187.43. • Employee benefits have decreased from $6,742,500 to $6,149,044.71. Botjer said they are happy with how the budget turned out. “The elected officials and department heads really tried to watch their expenditures,” she said. “They did a great job. They would look for other types of funding or would cut some of their expenses,” to keep the budget in check. She said that was part of the reason they were “able to hold the line” for the 2014 budget. Botjer added there was a 10 percent cut in funding across the board for human services through the state and federal governments. For 2013 Wayne County was a pilot county for a Human Services Block Grant, which Botjer said “went well.” The county has that block grant again for 2014. She explained that it allows the money to be used for “a certain amount of departments” and that the funds can be “rearranged based on need.” “This helped reduce the amount of cuts we had to make in that area,” Botjer said. You can view the budget summary for 2014 at www.co.wayne.pa.us and clicking on News, then Wayne County 2014 Budget.