Local News

Commissioners use rainy day fund to balance budget

SEBRING - Highlands County commissioners cheered themselves Tuesday evening after passing a $122.7 million budget. Other than that self-congratulatory hurrah, commissioners made no comments on what had been an arduous, two-month process. The current fiscal year 2012-13 budget was $117 million, so next year's spending was expected to be $5.7 million more. The difference was an additional $2.1 million for public safety, $220,000 less for general government, $95,000 more for court-related services, $786,000 less in the rainy day fund, $222,000 more for parks and recreation, $42,000 more for human services, $939,000 more for transportation and $993,000 more for the physical environment, according to documents from the county office of management and budget. All revenue sources were smaller, including building code enforcement and solid waste. The largest portion of the FY 2013-14 budget revenue, $50.3 million, came from taxes, with $492,000 from licenses and permits, $18.9 million from other governments, $10.2 million for charges for services, $106,000 for fines and forfeits, $4,3 million from rainy day fund transfers, and $32 million from the fund balance.
Commissioners needed money from the rainy day fund to balance this budget and cautioned it may not be available in the FY 2014-15 budget cycle. gpinnell@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5828