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To the editor:
Your 27 February front page news article regarding budget objections and approval was of particular interest because the budget was not approved until sometime in the afternoon following the public hearing, was approved as written in spite of the objections, and the Supervisors minutes are still nowhere to be found*
“.,.contributions to the following special organizations and agencies…” is information not made available at the hearing except as a matter of “reading’* the budget detail sheets, but the “contributions” listed in the article do not match the corresponding budget detail sheet line items anyway.
As examples, Emergency Management is at Service Area 1 (SA1) line 1210 and the budget line is $44,400 (12.7 % increase), county fair is at Service Area 6 (SA6) line 6430 (33,3% increase), Ringgold County Development is at SA6 line 6320 with the actual budget line $30,568 (essentially no change), day care services is at S A6 line 6450 (no change) and Ringgold County Historical Society is included in SA6 line 6410 which includes the Pioneer Cemeteries fund (8-2% increase),
The 2.7% computed average across-the-board salary increase is skewed by the Board of Supervisors taking no raise, and the revised average of 3.6% translates to a ~$110,000 total salary increase hidden in Departmental budgets, well more than half of the General Basic overtax.
The point being made is that these are all General Basic expenditures, all expenditures are either required or discretionary depending on whether the recipient is a county government entity or not, and non-departmental (read non-county government) expenditures in the current year budget amount to $1,010,392 (see 6 February Mt Ayr Record News p. 16 Col 2 Revised Appropriations),
All funding is discretionary based on Board of Supervisors authority to review and decrease each proposed budget input, presumably doing so in the context of discretionary funding to non-government entities, discretionary increases for the required government entities, and the reality of expenditures limited by revenues.
The taxes portion of revenues is limited by specific taxes for specific purposes except for the Basic taxes, the Basic taxes are limited in amount by the statutory levy caps, and “unusual need” (§ 331.426) surely does not include overtaxing to continue to overspend General Basic.