By Dillon Hayes, County Coordinator
What this means, in practice, is that, near the end of each year, the County estimates revenues and expenditures for the next calendar year. Each department prepares a recommended budget for their accounts, within their applicable fund or department. This is compiled, and revised after consultation with the department heads, by the County Coordinator and Administrative Services Office staff. This budget is then reviewed with the County Board of Commissioners, who are responsible for approving a final budget before the end of the year.
During the year, funds are receipted into, and expended from, specific accounts. These are not like conventional bank accounts, but accounts within the County’s uniform chart of accounts. This helps differentiate between different types of revenues (grants, tax payments, permit fees, etc.) and expenditures (salaries, supplies, professional services, etc.).
Using fund accounting, all revenues and expenditures are tracked by fund within the uniform chart of accounts. For example, most general government services (County Attorney, County Sheriff, County Assessor, etc.) are within Fund 01, the Revenue Fund; while Highway Department operations are all within Fund 10, the Public Works Fund. Within each fund, fund, department, and object codes (among others) are used to track specific financial transactions, for instance:
Building Permit Revenue: Fund 01, Department 107, Object Code 5117 (01-107.5117)
Gravel Crushing: Fund 10, Department 330, Object Code 6368 (10-330.6368)
Debt Service, Principal: Fund 35, Department 867, Object Code 6701 (35-867.6701)
Expenditures – Revenue = Levy
2022 Preliminary Levy: $22,339,589
2021 Taxable Net Tax Capacity: $26,434,370
2022 Preliminary Tax Rate: 84.510%
2022 Property Taxes: 84.510% x 2021 Property NTC
This is applicable to the County portion, but it also holds true for other taxing jurisdictions as well. Because each taxing jurisdiction sets their own budget, and has their own tax rate, the total amount of property taxes due for a single parcel can vary greatly each year. Property tax statements also include, in most cases, some kind of special assessment. These are set independently of a taxing jurisdiction’s levy, so these assessments can raise or lower total property taxes on a parcel, even if that property’s value and all associated tax rates go down.