The 2017 Tentative Budget for the operation of Allegany County Government Operations has been finalized. The consolidated total of the nine major appropriation funds will be $116,686,224, representing a $1,623,472 increase from calendar year 2016.
Preparation of this was done in collaboration with the County Treasurer/Deputy Budget Officer, Elected Officials, the Budget Committee, and County Department Heads. Their participation and cooperation throughout the process was instrumental to completing this document and laying out a framework for the continued operations of Allegany County.
This was not an easy task. Allegany County has seen a significant decrease in sales tax revenue for the second consecutive year. The decrease in anticipated revenue was in excess of $600,000 for calendar year 2015 Budget projections and is projected to be nearly $900,000 for the 2016 yearly budget. The Property Tax Cap limits the County to an increase in the levy estimated at approximately $200,000 leaving us far short of the amount needed to continue to conduct the County’s business at its current level. Closing of the Landfill further increased our expenses. These two items alone created significant revenue shortfalls that could not be made up without substantial cuts to needed programs and/or a substantial levy increase.
Through the collective efforts of the previously listed individuals, the initial budget was reduced by approximately $1,400,000. The County is assuming some calculated risks to reach the final target number. This Budget reflects a sales tax revenue target in the amount of $18,750,000 or a $1,250,000 decrease from the 2016 Budget projections. Several infrastructure needs, including bridges and equipment, have been deferred to subsequent years. The 2017 Budget does, however, propose the use of $3 million of General Fund Balance.
Challenge creates opportunity and some positive results were realized for the citizens of Allegany County. Although, the real property taxing levy is proposed to increase by $117,000 or .39 percent, the overall average Tax Rate will reflect a 1.08 percent decrease or .18 cents per thousand of assessed value.
The Tentative Budget has been filed with the Clerk of the Board of Legislators as of September 26, 2016, and in the coming weeks, will be reviewed by the Ways and Means Committee as well as the full Board of Legislators where it will be subject to further amendment.
The Tentative Budget, in its entirety, will be posted and made available on the County’s website at www.alleganyco.com for public viewing and will be subject to a mandatory Public Hearing on November 10, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. in the Legislative Chambers of the County Office Building.
Timothy T. Boyde
Allegany County Administrator/Budget Officer