Clark County approves $178M budget, raises

Jan 18, 2017
Clark County Sheriff’s Office is the largest share of the county’s budget. Staff photo

Clark County commissioners approved a $178 million budget for this year, including raises for its non-union employees.

About $425,000 was cut from the county’s general fund budget due to a projected loss of about $1 million in sales taxes due to changes from the federal government.

The budget was unanimously approved Wednesday. The county could examine personnel cuts for next year as it prepares to lose an annual $3 million in sales taxes, Clark County Administrator Jenny Hutchinson said.

“We’re still concerned about 2018 with the revenues and the loss of the sales tax,” she said. “We’ll figure that out as we go.”

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The county’s general fund was approved at about $43 million, including a $15 million budget for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

It also includes about $1.8 million in capital projects, including money for the Community Improvement Corp. and the National Trail Parks and Recreation District. The CIC, which is the economic development arm of the Chamber of Greater Springfield, will get about $334,000 and National Trail will get about $140,000.

The budget also includes 2-percent cost of living raises for non-union employees in the general fund at a cost of about $235,000.

The federal government will end in June the state’s collection of sales taxes on services from Medicaid managed-care organizations — such as Dayton-based CareSource. The county may lose about $1 million this year and $3 million in 2018, but could receive some relief from the state legislature, although no details have been released.

PRIOR COVERAGE: Federal change will cost Clark County $3M

County departments will be asked to cut their budgets from 5 to 7 percent next year to cover the sales tax losses, which could include both operation and personnel costs.

“We have to be proactive about communicating,” she said.

The county expects to bring in about $39.4 million in its general fund but spend about $43 million. The county will use about $4.1 million left over from last year to cover both the spending deficit and pay for projects.

The sheriff’s office and Clark County Common Pleas Clerk of Courts office will review their budgets with county leaders once the newly elected Sheriff Deb Burchett and Clerk of Courts Melissa Tuttle are settled in next month, Hutchinson said.

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The sheriff’s budget is about $15 million, the largest item in the county’s general fund budget. The clerk’s office receives about $775,000 from the general fund. The numbers will stay the same; however, money could be moved within different areas, Hutchinson said.

The county’s total budget includes about $37 million for the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services.

It was the first budget season in Clark County for Hutchinson, who was hired to replace former Clark County Administrator Nathan Kennedy in August.

“Being new, I think everything went smoothly,” she said. “I’m glad there weren’t any surprises. Everyone was very helpful.”