County Manager Blaine Williams said the budget in its current form is 3.5- percent below expenses for this year.
Revenue, however, is projected at just $45 million in the coming year and elected officials are looking for places to shave spending. Commissioner Garry Fricks said the county is taking a conservative tack, assuming revenue will again drop instead of increasing or remaining flat.
While the economy appears to be slowly recovering, the annual “birthday tax” on vehicles is being phased out along with the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing. Commissioners have the option of recapturing the energy tax but have not yet decided if they’ll impose the local levy.
Williams said the latest loss estimate is $80,000 the first year, rising incrementally to $320,000 a year in the fourth year when the tax will be completely gone.
A workshop set for 10 a.m. will continue the board’s zero-based budget initiative. Commissioners have heard from animal control and police officials, and the public works department is up next.
The board has set aside an hour and a half to focus on the budget, and will segue into the caucus session at 11:30 a.m. Its regular semimonthly meeting is set to start at noon.
Among the items on the short agenda is a public hearing on a change to the sign ordinance that would make it easier to replace damaged nonconforming signs.
All three sessions are on the second floor of the County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave. and are open to the public.