Contributed article by Mark Dragovich.
The Macoupin County Board unanimously adopted their Fiscal Year 2019 budget at the August Board meeting. The approved balanced budget projects to once again end the year with a surplus while not increasing taxes or debt.
The $21.3 million budget, with General Fund expenditures set at $7.9 million, is a decrease from the previous fiscal year’s $21.7 million budget.
“Once again, we’ve passed a balanced budget on time and without raising taxes or taking on any debt,” Chairman Mark Dragovich said. “This budget shows a projected surplus for our general fund which is another year we’ve managed to keep our budget in the black. Our continued surpluses have added up to the largest General Fund reserve the County has had in over 20 years.”
Macoupin County Finance Committee Chair Dave Thomas noted the County’s share of property taxes decreased this year, with taxpayers paying .77 cents per $100 of assessed value, down from .78 cents last year. “The County’s revenues do not dramatically increase each year, however we still have found a way to keep providing our core services and preserving our commitment to fiscal responsibility that tax payers expect and deserve. On behalf of the Board, I want to thank our countywide elected officials and department heads for working with us to balance the budget year after year.”
Dragovich also highlighted that the FY19 budget continues investing in capital projects for the County Courthouse and other buildings. “This year’s budget has funding for new Courthouse improvements including repainting the Courthouse’s dome. These updates will go along with the previous repairs of new gutters, upgraded elevator, renovated exterior steps and secured valances as projects completed without raising property taxes or taking on any new debt.”
The County’s fiscal year begins on September 1st and the adoption of the budget in August marked the end of a months-long process. Working with the County Clerk’s office, the Board held numerous public hearings and meetings to hear requests from officials and department heads, review the projected revenues for the next fiscal year, and draft the budget document.
“Any time you are spending tax payer money, you need to be accountable through an open process,” said County Clerk Pete Duncan. “This Board’s commitment to accountability was shown in how the budget process played out from the hours of open meetings they held to directing me to have the proposed budget available for public inspection a full month before voting to approve it. With the efforts my office has taken to make the county checkbook and other financial information available online, no Macoupin tax payer should feel they don’t have a seat at the table when it comes to reviewing the County’s finances.”
Anyone wishing to review the budget can view the budget at http://macoupincountyil.gov/budget.htm.