The Effingham County Tax and Fiance Committee discussed a major deficit, to the tune $600,000, in the county’s preliminary FY17 budget at Thursday’s meeting. According to committee chairman Rob Arnold, the county board is facing some tough decisions if they want to continue to operate in the black. The county is planning a special budget meeting that will take place after Monday’s 4:00 p.m. full board meeting to start discussing some options. Arnold says that while it’s possible for a government body to run on a deficit-budget, that would go against Effingham County’s beliefs and values.
While the county board has not considered removing or reducing any services provided by the county at this time, Arnold says additional revenue must be found. He says, that one possibility is raising property taxes.
Arnold said that any action going forward will be open for discussion with the public and that the county board will remain transparent with any plans.
In other action, the committee voted to forward, to the full board, a resolution to collect delinquent taxes on two empty parcels in the county and an ordinance defining the FY17 salary schedule for non-union employees. The committee also discussed using a budget surplus in the Sheriff’s Office of around $216,000 for F.O.P. back pay. The money was budgeted for that purpose originally but will not be able to be paid out this fiscal year.