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July 18, 2013
County’s 2013 budget gets a big round revisions

Tooele County Commissioners approved Tuesday a revised 2013 budget that is $7.8 million less than the budget originally adopted for the year last December.

“This new budget represents a lot of hard work and sacrifice by all departments,” said Tooele County Commissioner Shawn Milne. “I thank everybody that has worked so hard on this.”

The revised budget for all county funds totals $47.3 million compared to the original budget of $56 million, a 15 percent decrease.

Leading the way in reductions is the airport fund with a 30 percent reduction due to a $4.1 million federal grant that will be delayed until 2014.

Following the airport fund, the Deseret Peak Complex fund fell from $2.8 million to $2.1 million, a 25 percent decrease. The complex’s budget includes a $1 million expense for depreciation, which is a journal entry that reduces the value of the complex’s assets, not a payment by taxpayer dollars.

Backing out the depreciation expense, Deseret Peak Complex’s budget declined by 39 percent.

The municipal services fund, which includes the engineering department, Class B road funds, and part of the sheriff’s department, dropped by 16 percent.

Included in the municipal services decrease was a $209,000 cut in the engineering department budget, which was a 28 percent decrease.

The general fund budget also went down by $3 million, or 15 percent.

Recreation and tourism, a line item on the general fund budget, lost $153,00, which is 48 percent of its original budget.

Also within the general fund budget, building maintenance took a 28 percent hit with a reduction of $266,000 and information technology lost $211,000 for a 24 percent reduction.

Most county offices had their original 2013 budget reduced; however, Tooele County’s support of the juvenile court kept its full $25,000 along with the district court that retained its original budget of $21,250.

The new 2013 budget also kept the $18,000 allocated to economic development intact.

The sheriff’s department lost a total of $441,000, a 12 percent reduction, including expenses in both the general and municipal services funds.

On the revenue side of the budget, the amended 2013 budget still includes a $2.6 million increase in property taxes. Other revenue modifications included a $400,000 increase in payment in lieu of taxes and a $300,000 decrease in jail fees.

If the new budget projections hold true, the county will add $3.2 million to its fund balance at the end of the year, according to Tooele County Auditor Mike Jensen.

At the end of 2012 the county’s fund balance was $2.6 million, down $1.9 million from 2011.

“The county commissioners will decide towards the end of the year how much of the fund balance will be used to restore funds owed money by Deseret Peak,” said Jensen.

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