The Peoria County Board is slated to approve its 2017 budget tonight. The board has to fill a two-and-a half million dollar shortfall, for this year and next.
County Board Chairman Andrew Rand says fund reserves will be depleted in three years at this pace. He says expenses are outpacing revenues about one percent a year, compounded by declines in the major revenue sources of sales taxes, fines and fees.
Rand says property taxes are stable but even the maximum levy won’t fill in the budget hole. He says a more than four-and-half-percent county-wide budget cut is necessary.
“I believe this is the most prudent, fiscally responsible course of action which is to right-size our payroll, take a modest increase on our property taxes, one percent on the general fund which is $330,000 and try to weather out the economic conditions that we’re in locally and statewide,” Rand said.
The cuts amount to roughly 40 jobs eliminated county-wide in the first quarter of the year. It also includes a more than 637-thousand dollar reduction to the Sheriff’s Department, which is the county’s largest budget with the most employees.