March 14, 2012

County’s income rising

By Stu Merry, BHG News Service

An increase in oil and gas revenues and a jump in state revenue sharing is padding county coffers this year. A full jail is also helping the county’s bottom line. At their meeting Tuesday, county commissioners received the monthly budget narrative compiled by Auditor Les Korgel. Government reimbursements are ahead of last year. Korgel, who was not in attendance, noted in his report higher inmate housing fees are benefiting the county. The new Law Enforcement Center serves a dual purpose. Not only does it accommodate county offenders, the facility is utilized by state and federal agencies to house prisoners. Property tax collections so far mirror previous year’s average – 91 percent. Korgel also wrote that government reimbursements are up just over 28 percent. So far, $515,130 has been received this year compared to $369,427 in 2011. Another pleasant surprise is a decrease in expenses. So far, $1.8 million has been expended this year, or about 12 percent of the budget. Budget expenditures normally run about 17 percent, Korgel reported.

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