Clinton County Council makes half million in budget cuts

CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – The Clinton County Council announced they were cutting more than half a million dollars from their general fund Tuesday, but Council President Pro Tem Steve Fry said it could have been even worse.

“We underestimated revenues a lot,” said Fry.

The county learned it underestimated revenues by more than $220,000, taking the needed reduction down to $486,000.The council cut even more, slashing $509,000 to the original $9 million budget. Though Fry says a mid-year budget cut is typical, this year’s cut is larger than usual.

County Auditor Cathy Hamilton says decreased tax collection contributed to cuts.

“The tax caps have a lot to do with decreased tax collection and the state did away with the inheritance tax so that was revenue were getting that we aren’t getting any longer,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton says much of the cuts come from moving money from one account to another. The sheriff’s office and jail is taking almost an $80,000 hit.

Sheriff Jeff Ward says he has always been able to keep a tight budget and approved the cuts.With moves like slashing $10,000 of jail overtime, he said they are intended to keep anyone from losing their job.

“The last thing I want to do is lose personnel. Those cuts were made with the idea that if we were running short and we have to come back for more money. We can do that,” said Ward.

Hamilton said the cuts shouldn’t cause any long term effects to any department and are necessary to maintain a balanced budget.

“We need to work within our revenue, within our budget. We can’t keep spending more than what we’re bringing in,” said Hamilton.

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