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Saline County Board proposes balanced budget

By Travis DeNeal
Posted on 1/17/2020, 5:11 PM

SALINE COUNTY -- Saline County Board members voted to post the 2020 budget after the county's budget committee presented it at a special meeting Wednesday night.

The budget is a balanced one, budget committee members said, with projected income and expenses both being $6,611,403.

Budget committee Chairman Mike McKinnies said despite challenges, such as the closing of the Wildcat Hills Mine that caused the loss of about 250 jobs in the county, the budget is a sound one.

"The projected revenue numbers this year are good. We'll continue to monitor the monthly treasurer's report and make sure all revenues are being met or exceeded," McKinnies said.

Budget committee member Wes Sherrod said developing a balanced budget is challenging.

"The numbers are based on projected income. We won't know exactly what that income is until we get it, so it's kind of like hitting a moving target," Sherrod said.

The budget went on display in the county courthouse and sheriff's office beginning Thursday, where it must remain for 15 days so county residents have a chance to examine it.

The proposed budget also includes a $1 "placeholder" for recreational cannabis taxes from unincorporated areas (a 3.75 percent tax), municipalities (a .75 percent tax), video gaming, and solar farming. It is uncertain when those revenues may come in.

The county's budget increased by 1.06 percent from the 2019 budget. It is $69,541 more than the $6,541,862 2019 budget.

By contrast, the county's budget increased 4.7 percent from the 2018 budget to last year's. That increase was $292,006. The 2018 budget was $6,249,856.