County clears final budget |

County clears final budget

by Kurt Hildebrand

After more than 12 hours of tentative budget hearings, Douglas County’s final budget hearing took just 15 minutes, most of which was taken up reading the list of budgets to be approved and the motion to approve them.

Douglas County commissioners approved a $160.4 million budget, including the redevelopment district, towns of Gardnerville, Minden and Genoa, and the East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts.

The county budgeted for $85 million in revenue, with property tax as the highest single category at $24.25 million, followed by charges for services at $17.69 million and the state consolidated tax at $10.3 million.

Personnel is the largest single expenditure with $40.3 million, with services and supplies costing $25.8 million.

The approved general fund is $45.7 million.

Douglas County’s tax rate increased slightly to absorb a decrease in the tax rate supporting China Spring Youth Camp.

County Budget Manager Kathy Lewis said a new line item will appear on tax bills supporting roads. That tax rate is balanced by a reduction in the 10-cent state medical assistance to indigents rate. During tentative budget hearings, county officials said reducing that rate would not affect the county’s ability pay medical bills for indigent people who are injured in the county. The indigent fund has built up a substantial reserve over the years.

Commission Chairman Greg Lynn thanked staff members and commissioners for their work on the budget.

County Manager Steve Mokrohisky echoed Lynn in an e-mail.

“We have a great deal to celebrate, including balancing the budgets while enhancing services in several areas, stabilizing personnel costs and revenues, and shifting over $1 million to preventative road maintenance,” he said. “I’d like to express my appreciation to Christine (Vuletich) and Kathy for their outstanding work over the past several months. They have spent countless hours making this budget process a success and utilizing the new priority-based budgeting system to create value for taxpayers.”

Mokrohisky also thanked commissioners for their support and leadership.

“ I have heard from numerous members of the public, elected officials and staff that this budget has been the most smooth process in recent history,” he said. “The success of this budget is a result of the board’s leadership, cooperation of elected officials and directors, and work of the Finance team.”

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