Tight budget for county

Chip Davis

Chip Davis

On Aug. 3, the Board of Supervisors adopted the fiscal year 2009/2010 budget. Balancing this budget was challenging due to continued revenue instability and increased expenses.

Many difficult decisions were made such as closing the Prescott jail, department budget reductions of 7.5 percent, and no funding for employee raises. Both the County budget and the general fund budget are 5 percent less than the previous year's budget. The jail district's budget has been cut by 11 percent. We have not funded 113 positions.

The State budget that was originally passed by the legislature on July 1, 2009 contained significant impacts to Yavapai County, but was then vetoed by the Governor. Thus, at this time the ultimate impact of the State's budget is still unknown.

Due to these continued uncertain times, a hiring freeze and out-of-state travel freeze remain in effect.

However, as a result we are financially stable and able to continue to provide much-needed services to our constituents. It took everyone in Yavapai County Government working together to reach our goals. To see the cooperation and spirit of teamwork especially during these times says a lot about the quality of staff working for Yavapai County.

Update: The Yavapai County supervisors have approved the county's primary and secondary tax rates.

District 1 and 2 supervisors Carol Springer and Tom Thurman met in Prescott, and District 3 Supervisor Chip Davis joined them via videoconference from Cottonwood.

Although the state Legislature had not yet voted on a budget, Arizona statutes require that the board approve the primary and secondary tax rates by the third Monday in August, County Administrator Julie Ayers explained.

"Even though the Legislature is considering repealing the state equalization tax, we are required by statute to pass the rates through to the county treasurer," Ayers told the board.

Individual jurisdictions' board of directors such as fire, school, lighting and sanitation districts set the primary and secondary tax rates, but the board must vote to approve the rates.

"The board has no say in what the primary and secondary tax rates are for the districts," Ayers said previously. "The board is a pass-through authority. The supervisors have no control over what the individual districts set as their tax rates."

The secondary and primary tax rates are available to read and download at www.co.yavapai.az.us, under the supervisors meeting agenda.

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