The Tooele County Commission adopted a tentative 2021 budget with a $12.3 million shortfall in the general fund during their Oct. 20 meeting.
The budget was presented by Tooele County Auditor Alison McCoy. As the county budget officer, McCoy collects budget requests from elected officials and department heads and compiles them to form the first draft of the tentative budget for the County Commission.
The tentative budget does not at this time show a significant increase in property tax revenue. Property tax revenue for the general fund is forecasted to increase by around $300,000 or 0.5% from the current 2020 budget.
Total general fund expenses increase from $43.9 million to $45.2 million, a 3.1% increase.
McCoy pointed that as presented, it will take approximately $12.3 million of the general fund to balance the budget.
County Commission Chairman Tim Tripp said the plan is to “whittle down” the expenses to get the budget to balance.
The largest increase in general fund expenses is a $3.1 million transfer to the Human Services fund.
The Human Services fund shows an increase in expenses from $1.9 million in 2020 to $4.7 million in 2021. The line item Human Services budget shows an increase from $1.3 million to $2.0 million in behavioral health payments. It also reflects a budgeted $1.2 million in Medicaid Match expenses compared to a budget of $0 for Medicaid Match expenses in the 2020 budget. In 2019, Tooele County had $811,147 in Medicaid Match expenses.
The 2021 tentative budget also lists $15 million in “special projects” as part of the Capital Projects Fund budget.
The tentative budget for the Municipal Services Fund budget decreased by $1.1 million from the 2020 budget, dropping from $8.2 million to $7.1 million in expenses.
The County’s tentative budget is considered a working document. The final 2021 budget will be adopted most likely in December.
Before the final budget is adopted, the County Commission will hold a public hearing with the revised tentative budget available to the public at least 10 days before the hearing.