News and Tribune

Clark County

September 16, 2009

Deep cuts: 22 percent requested to be slashed from budgets; job losses likely

The Clark County Council sent out a letter Wednesday asking department heads throughout the county to voluntary cut 22 percent of their budgets for 2010.

Based on the state-approved 2009 budget, the general fund equaled about $14.7 million, said Barbara Hollis, council member. During budget sessions held by the council this week, a determination was made that the council would have a budget gap of about $4 million to make up next year. That figure was pegged by adding tax levy money from 2009 to the expected revenue for 2010.

“The revenues are not going to be here to support what we have in the past,” Hollis said.

The $4 million difference that will need to be made up likely will result in job cuts from county payrolls.

“We hate to say it’s going to come down to personnel, [but] there’s not enough papers, pencils and pens you can cut,” said David Abbott, council president. “This is the last thing we’d want to happen,” he said referring to job cuts.



REVENUE WOES

The county has been hit hard by revenues recently, being forced to make up for the 2009 budget deficit of $750,000 by dipping into the county’s rainy-day fund. Generating new sources of revenue has been a tougher challenge, and it seems costs have piled on at the same time.

“One thing that has happened here is a lot of people have come in and they disputed their assessment [for property taxes] on their house; and a lot of them were right,” Abbott said. “They refunded them right then and there, so this has hit us all at one time.”

Other sources of money for the county are disappearing through processes such as annexations.

“[One] of the things that is messing the county up is the annexations, [but] with the economy and all the money we had to refund on assessments not being correct and doing that all at one time — boom, it’s like a bomb going off,” Abbott said.

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