Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Lauderdale County Budget?/Lodging Tax

From a reader:


The following statments were taken from the September 27, 2016 and October 2, 2016 TimesDaily about the county's 2017 budget:

In an effort to increase starting salaries in all county departments, the Lauderdale County Commission on Monday approved an operating budget that included a $2,000 raise for all county employees.

We were in good enough financial shape that we could address some other needs,” Commissioner Roger Garner said following the meeting. “Every department had wants and needs, and we were able to address some of those.” so included in the budget was a 4 percent increase of employee health care benefits that totaled approximately $67,838.

“This is something that we have been talking about for two years. Thankfully, we were able to do it this year,” said Lauderdale County Commissioner Roger Garner.

Commission Chairman Dewey Mitchell, who is retiring at the end of October, said this is the biggest budget in the history of the county, and he warned commissioners to stop pulling from reserves before there would be no reserves left.

“We had to take two and three-quarters million dollars out of the reserves to balance this budget,” Mitchell said. “The county is very fortunate to have the reserves to balance the budget. It has not always been that way.”

The overall budget is $31,548,935, an increase of $2.1 million from the 2016 operating budget.

We just can’t keep depleting the reserves,” Mitchell said. “I hope in the future, the budgets will be balanced on incomes and not on reserves.”

It is stated above the Commission had to take two and three-quarters million dollars out of the reserves to balance this budget but the budget only increased $2.1 million from the 2016 budget. If I read that right the Commission had overspent their 2016 budget.

Did the Commission take into consideration the other things associated with that much of a salary increase. Taxes and retirement funds will increase plus the added expense of insurance. If they can’t balance a budget without getting funds from reserve there will be no reserves, then what will the Lauderdale County Commission do?

What will happen when Dewey Mitchell leaves office? He seems to be the only one that is worried about Lauderdale County?

What do you think?



A pithy comment from L. Stone on an increase in Florence lodging tax:

You'd think that someone from Canada would know that people will go south of a border if they can get a better deal.


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