Fayette budget preview: Small increase


A preview of the FY 2018 proposed budget presented May 25 to the Fayette County Commission showed general fund expenditures of $49.2 million. That compares to the current $48.1 million budget. Public hearings will be held on June 6 and 22.

General fund revenues are expected to total $50,632,663 and expenditures are initially set at $49,189,766.

Finance staff noted the revenue breakdown showing that property taxes account for 59.7 percent of revenues, with sales taxes generating 23.9 percent, charges for services at 6.3 percent and fines and forfeitures at 3.2 percent.

Staff said personnel costs account for 65 percent of expenditures, while 17.8 percent of expenditures are for purchases and contracts, 8.6 percent for supplies and 6.6 goes for debt service.

Of personnel costs, 76 percent goes to salaries with the remainder slated for benefits.

The budget comes with no cost-of-living increase and no one-time payments. Commissioners will consider a merit-based increase based on 2.75 percent of the total county payroll.

Commissioners will consider the addition of 11 new full-time equivalents. Those include a special events and marketing coordinator in Parks and Recreation, a plans examiner for Building Safety, an equipment operator (mowing) and a roads maintenance worker (mowing crew) for Roads, a personal and real property appraiser for the Tax Assessor, an environmental engineer for Environmental Management, a finance analyst for Finance and a utility services technician and two distribution maintenance workers for the Water System.

The total budget, with all funds combined is initially proposed at $88.8 million. That compares to the 2017 total budget of $88 million.

With property taxes increasing significantly this year, it remains to be seen what will play out, both in terms of an approved budget and with the millage rate that will be adopted in August.

The commission will hold the first public hearing on the budget on June 6 at 7 p.m. and a second public hearing on June 22 at 7 p.m. in the commissioner chambers at the county complex in downtown Fayetteville.