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County releases budget forecast

Commissioners ask departments to make cuts

— Okanogan County is working on a proposed $52.6 million operating budget for 2014, and the commissioners have asked for across-the-board cuts.

“As of today the commissioners asked Lanie (Johns, the board clerk) to send an email to all departments and sharpen their pencils because their ‘wish list’ is larger than the revenue,” Commissioner Sheilah Kennedy said on Monday.

“I suggested everyone take a 10 percent cut in their budget requests. Then we will have a starting point.”

A public hearing for the draft budget has been set for 2:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the commissioners’ hearing room, 123 N. Fifth Ave.

The preliminary figure is about $300,000 higher than what was approved for 2013. The budget is divided four ways: The current expense fund, $19.1 million; miscellaneous, $5.87 million; public works, $20.96 million, and the junior districts, $6.6 million.

Anticipated expenditures in current expenses include:

• Advanced expenditures – $11,500, down from $14,300 in 2013

• Agent – $74,843, up from $71,775

• Assessor – $920,946, up from $903,691

• Auditor – $469,109, up from $436,195

• Building – $290,381, up from $289,837

• Central services – 227,880, up from 246,078

• Civil service – $6,150, up from $5,900

• Clerk – $449,803, up from $444,652

• Commissioners – $550,546, up from $533,226

• Communications – $809,256, up from $705,766

• Coroner – $48,045, up from $43,245

• Courthouse maintenance – $545,564, up from $514,863

• Disability Board – $1,090, up from $790

• District Court – $795,342, up from $780,251

• Elections – $206,084, up from $203,713

• Board of Equalization – $5,038, down from $6,396

• Jail – $3,511,440, up from $3,276,595

• Juvenile services – $1,593,138, up from $1,473,430

• Non-departmental – $2,505,397, up from $2,218,025

• Planning – $654,641, down from $655,630

• Prosecuting attorney – $1,322,292, up from $1,281,466

• Sheriff – $4,193,587, up from $4,004,259

• State examiner – unchanged at $50,000

• Superior Court – $529,099, down from $521,255

• Treasurer – $471,088, up from $444,716

The county is budgeting for a decline in real and personal property tax revenue, from $5.6 million estimated this year to $5.2 million in 2014. As of last month, the county reported collecting about $3.3 million.

The county expects retail sales and use tax revenues of $1.9 million, down from the $2.1 million set for this year.

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