A public hearing to approve the 2019 Fiscal Year budget for Audubon County is set for Tuesday, March 13 at 10 a.m. at the Audubon County Courthouse, in the Supervisor’s Chambers. The public is invited and encouraged to attend to ask questions or voice their opinions. Written and oral comments may also be submitted to the Auditor’s Office, for those unable to attend the public hearing.
Audubon County property owners will see their taxes increase slightly, as the levy is up 11.2% from 10.47% last year. Key factors for the increase include: increased wages and staffing in many of the county’s offices, such as a new full time employee in roadside, an additional as needed employee in the Recorder’s office, several staff members added to or increasing from part time to full time in the Public Health Nurse’s office and a new position in the sheriff’s department that replaces the former D.P specialist position, with a total increased wage of nearly 10%; Increased expenses in the County Attorney’s office associated with staffing and setting up the office space for an in house county attorney; a new building a secondary roads which will be used partially by the Roadside Department and partially by the Sheriff’s Office for secured evidence storage; and decreased revenue due to the 50% reduction in the 28E agreement with the City of Exira.
Other items of note when looking at the 2019 budget show that the County’s reserves are down to the minimum 25% as required by law. The 25% figure is the amount the state recommends each County have in their reserve funds in order to be able to operate from the start of the fiscal year, until property taxes funds are received in the fall. During the budgeting process the Board also voted to remove the 50% cap for the County’s various TIF projects. In year’s prior, the dollar amount that TIF funds would receive from increased property taxes in the County’s specified urban renewal areas was limited to 50%, the remaining 50% of that money would go into the County’s general fund. That 50% cap has now been removed, allowing more tax dollars to be funneled to those special infrastructure projects.
Following the public hearing, the budget will be forwarded to the State Department of Management, as all County budgets must be filed with the state no later than March 15.