Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Milam County in the Black

There have been a lot of numbers being tossed around in the media lately. Various pundits have been touting the budget deficits in the nation, states and lately even in Milam County. Dave Barkemeyer’s first two reports discussed his thoughts on the general fund and the county precinct funds. I need to emphasis “his thoughts,” as what has been said is not all there is to the story.

I also need to give credit to the GOP blog for using numbers, but not using them correctly. In one of the recent blogs the author refers a $700,000 deficit for 2010. The actual final report shows that while the county did not receive all the expected income they did in fact come in under budget to the tune of $556,600.74.

In another incorrect statement in the blog the author refers to a 1.1 million dollar reserve claimed by one of the candidates in last year’s campaign. The actual reserve in the 2010 budget was $930,717.02. There was never any mention made of a 1.1 million reserve, rather the statement of a reserve of just under a million dollars. Oh, and by the way, that is why we build reserves or rainy day funds, to be used as needed.

Now back to Dave’s statement that the county is facing a million dollar plus budget shortfall for the 2011 budget year. The reality is that counties must submit the 2011 budget in mid-year 2010, and the final approval came in September of 2010. The approved budget was based on predicted income for 2011.

Now, that means that the elected officials need to do their job to bring in the money. If the 2011 budget falls short of income you can blame it on over estimation of income or under performance by elected officials. The short fall will depend on a number of factors that only the future will reveal. Let’s keep an eye on the income figures for 2011 and see where the shortages are.

The bottom line is that even with the numbers used by Dave and the GOP blog Milam County ended 2010 with a total of $5,624,470.49 in the bank. Anyway you spin the numbers Milam County was in good financial shape on January 1, 2011.

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