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County approves 2017 final budget

The tentative budget for fiscal year 2017 approved by Nye County commissioners on Thursday shows the county’s expenses outpace revenues.

While the county’s available revenues are $31.2 million, expenses are $32.9 million.

“The budget is balanced and it has been approved by the Department of Taxation,” Nye County Manager Pam Webster said.

The ending fund balance of the general fund is projected to be $5,889,732. In October 2015, Nye County commissioners repealed Nye County Code Chapter 3.28 that allowed the transfer of $5.8 million equity into a committed fund balance Nye County general fund.

Along with a contingency amount of $200,000, the ending fund balance of the general fund represents 18 percent of the actual prior year expenditures.

Included in fiscal year 2017 budget are real property taxes, consolidated tax, PILT and charges for services.

In 2016, Nye County will not receive money for the net mining proceeds tax that refers to the fee imposed by the state on minerals that are sold, similar to sales tax. Webster said the county will get the net proceeds for 2016 within the next few days.

Real property taxes are projected to be $11.3 million in 2017.

“I think it’s going to be actually a little higher than this projection but I kept it conservative at this point,” she said about real property taxes.

Recently, the county saw a large increase in consolidated tax. From a budgeted $11.1 million, the county is $1.0 million higher in a projection. The PILT numbers are showing higher for 2016 than budgeted because the county got part of 2015’s money in 2016, Webster said.

Proceeds from charges for services are lower than budgeted. Webster said they could come in stronger than projected but she has taken a conservative approach in her estimates.

Cuts from ag extension, public works and total increases to general funds are expected to be in the general fund and will be reflected in a tax rate structure.The county adjusted the ag extension’s tax rate down from 1.5 cents to one cent.

The county’s projected $33 million in expenses includes a 9.5 percent increase through the health care insurance premium; also included are staff salary increases.

Webster said supplies and services were held to the FY 2016 levels with two exceptions. The clerk’s office was increased for election expenses and IT was increased about $25,000 for increased maintenance agreements on the county’s network hardware and software.

Webster said she wants to continue the 90-day hiring freeze to continue to build the ending fund balance.

All approved positions filled or unfilled at this time are budgeted. Some are in the process of being filled, some are going through the 90-day hiring freeze period. Others are scheduled to be filled July 1.

In March, the county projected a $1.5 million budget shortfall.

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