Commissioners approve $7.6 million budget for 2020-2021

by Kate Shunney

The Morgan County Commissioners on Wednesday, March 25 approved a $7.6 million budget for county operations for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2020 and runs through June 30, 2021.

In a meeting streamed over social media to increase public access, county officials unanimously okayed the $7,677,559 budget, which includes an estimated $800,000 in carryover from the current fiscal year.

Commission President Joel Tuttle said some minor adjustments to the budget were still being made, but the revenue projections based on property assessments and current tax rates would not change.

Tuttle said the county must, next fiscal year, account for an additional pay period for county employees due to the way the calendar falls.

“Every four to five years, everyone on a two-week pay period ends up with 27 pays,” said Tuttle. That factor adds $70,000 to the county’s payroll for the fiscal year, he said.

Property tax collections are estimated to bring in $3,776, 307 next fiscal year.

That projection is based on the current property tax rate, which has been unchanged in the county for several years. Commissioners will officially set the county’s levy (tax) rate on April 21. They have the option to reduce that rate, which would decrease their budget projections. Commissioners have not indicated they intend to drop the tax rate.

County property assessments rose roughly 1.5% over 2019 values, according to figures from the Morgan County Assessor’s Office.