Overton County Commission passed its budget Monday night with one of the healthiest fund balances the county has ever had.
That’s according to County Executive Ben Danner. He said that since he’s gone into office eight years ago, the county has doubled its general fund balance.
“And what that means is that if things go badly, like the fuel prices,” Danner said. “Of course we would’ve had more fund balance than that if last year the fuel hadn’t went up because that really cost us in the highway department, the solid waste department, the sheriff’s department. So we were able to maintain a healthy balance with that so next year if fuel goes up even more we’ve still got that built in the budget.”
Danner said that the commission also set a record in regards to its tax levy. Sitting at $1.97 for the 7th year in a row, Danner said that’s one of the longest stretches the county has gone without increasing taxes.
Danner said that one of the focuses for this year’s budget included employee salary increases, which have gone from $11 an hour to $13 an hour. He said that another focus was trying to set the county up for success when it comes to inflation, gas prices, and future economies.
“You know the budget is set up to where, I’m sure the economy probably in the next few years, I mean it’s looking like everything is going up, inflation is terrible,” Danner said. “I hope it doesn’t crash and the housing market doesn’t, but it historically does so if it does we’ve got the budget set to where we won’t have to raise taxes on the taxpayer. Nobody wants to raise taxes any time and especially when people are out of work and things are bad. So we’ve got it set up to where the county could maintain what it’s got.”
Danner said that the county commission has done a good job of trying to set the budget up to where it will be able to maintain itself positively should something happen in the future to the economy.