County Passes $75 million Budget

By Beacon Staff

The Flathead County Commission unanimously approved the county’s fiscal year 2013 budget on Aug. 30, which came in over $3 million less than the 2012 budget.

According to county administrator Mike Pence, the total expenditure projection for FY 2013 is $75.2 million, which is down from 2012’s nearly $79 million. The 2013 budget begins with a balance of $34.7 million, and total tax and non-tax revenues are expected to hit $77.3 million, which should leave a projected ending balance of $36.8 million.

Flathead County’s cash reserves supported by property taxes are projected to be $11.7 million by the end of FY 2013. This sets that level at about 25 percent, and 33 percent is allowed by law.

The county now has 522 employees, an increase from the 515 in the 2012 budget. The new budget also accounts for a 2.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment for county personnel. County employees have not had pay increases for several years due to the recession and budget constraints.

Flathead County’s total market value is now $9.32 billion, an increase from $8.77 billion in FY 2012. The new taxable value is 2.2 percent higher, coming in at $244.1 million over last year’s $238.9 million.

FY 2012’s tax levy was 150.54 mills, and that number decreases this year to 149.16 mills. A countywide mill is now valued at $234,977 compared to last year’s $229,890.

Pence told the commission that he believes the budget is in line with the commission’s wishes to “hold the line” where possible on expenditures, and thanked the various county department heads for their concerted efforts to do so.

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