Commissioners start work on 2022 budget

Larry Limpf

The Ottawa County commissioners started work on the county’s 2022 budget with hearings last week to discuss departmental budget requests.
As of Nov. 16, the county collected $3.7 million this year in property taxes – about $156,704 more than county officials had estimated it would this year and about $120,801 more than was collected in 2020.
To date this year, the county sales tax has generated about $7.6 million – about $1.1 million more than estimated and about $692,007 more than 2020 collections. The additional 0.25 percent sales tax is also running above estimates. Year-to-date collections for 2021 are about $1.9 million – about $288,000 more than the estimate – and $174,000 more than 2020 collections.
The county, like other local governments, is realizing a steep drop in investment income from bank deposits and similar savings accounts as interest rates remain below 1 percent. The estimate is $400,000 but so far this year the county has realized only about $195,681 from interest. Last year, the county’s investment income was $821,286. In 2018 and 2019, it was $1.06 million and $1.3 million respectively.
Other revenue sources for the county include casino tax revenues, fees, licenses and fines, reimbursements, and the local government fund.
Total revenues in 2020 were $22.6 million.
In 2020, general fund expenditures reached $19.2 million:
-General government - $9.1 milion
-Sheriff’s office - $6.4 million
-Social services - $1.4 million
-Transfer to reserves/capital - $2.1 million
Mark Stahl, a county commissioner, said the commissioners will also be deciding on what capital improvement/ repair projects to undertake next year.
“We will be looking at what we’re going to put in the account for capital projects. We fund that line item as well. And we haven’t made any decisions on salary increases yet,” he said. “
In other business, the commissioners last week authorized Poggemeyer Design Group to proceed with the topographical work required for the regional water main extension to the Village of Elmore. The cost for the work is estimated at $16,100.


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