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Wish list of elected officials and county department heads totals $12.5 million

Facing a wish list from constitutional officers and county department heads totaling $12.5 million and with projected revenue of $11.7 million, Grady County commissioners face some difficult choices as they move forward in preparing a spending plan for the 2013 fiscal year.
Commissioners convened a budget workshop Tuesday afternoon to get a first look at the county’s 2012 tax digest. For the second straight year the county’s taxable value dropped, but less than two percent from 2011.
The adjusted net digest fell from $529,301,157 to $522,601,689. The bulk of the drop came from lower real and personal property values. The value of motor vehicles jumped while timber values fell.
Grady County Administrator Rusty Moye said that one mill of ad valorem tax with the new digest will generate approximately $522,000 compared to $529,000 in 2011.
Moye said he needed to double check his calculations, but the preliminary figures show that the county would have to adopt a millage rate of 11.892 mills to generate the exact same tax revenue as last year, but his calculations show even with that 1/8 mill increase the total tax revenue would be off $15,625 compared to last year.
“Until we decide on the expenditures, we don’t have a clue yet what the millage will be,” Commissioner Charles Norton observed.
Moye reminded board members that approximately $386,000 from cash reserves was transferred to the general fund to balance the 2012 budget.
The county administrator is in the process of making his suggested revisions to the spending plan and will present it to the board at another workshop set for Monday at 8 a.m.
“You basically have three questionable departments,” Moye said referring to the budget request presented by the sheriff’s office, detention center and volunteer fire department.
“We’ve got to separate the needs from the wants,” Commissioner Norton said.
Moye warned that what commissioners considered a “want” may actually be a “need.”
“I hope that in making my suggested cuts I am as objective as I can be. I don’t want to be subjective in making these cuts,” Moye told commissioners Tuesday.
The commissioners will resume their budget talks next week.

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