August 8, 2018

Taxes, spending, and the looming deficit

By Daniel Arens

Budget deficits were a given for Mercer County as they faced their 2019 budget.
The county commission knew it would face some hard choices and major decisions well in advance of the actual departmental budget discussions they held at the end of July. But it was only during their Aug. 1 meeting that a clear picture emerged of how severe that budget was.
Auditor Shana Brost presented the projection for the 2019 budget, telling the commissioners that she needed final numbers for the preliminary budget and her requested mill levy to the state by Aug. 17, shortly after the next scheduled meeting (Aug. 15).
Brost explained that, just to cover the requested items from the departments, the county would be looking at a 31 percent tax increase, with the requested mill levy going from 36 mills to 53.
“You know that’s going to be getting a lot of phone calls if you raise taxes 30 percent,” she said.


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