While looking at proposals for the Fiscal Year 2010 the Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors said Tuesday they're not sure how they'd be able to stay within a their current tax levy cap for their general fund and meet all the department's expenditures requests. Currently Iowa counties have a $3.50 levy limit on general funds.
After meeting with all the department heads to see if there were any other areas that could be cut from their budgets the County says the department heads feel there's really nothing left they can afford to cut. The Supervisors said they wanted to check with department and look at all options to avoid raising taxes. "What can we drop out of the budget this year," asked Supervisor Ken Hach at an earlier meeting. "I don't want to raise taxes. We got a lot of people who are hurting and I don't want to add to that hurt."
The County is expected to hold a public hearing in the future to let taxpayers know they want to levy above the $3.50 limit and say justification can be seen primarily in the expenditures spent out of the budget for the County jail and the costs associated with housing the rising number of inmates.
Auditor Karen Strawn introduced the possibility of a Capital Project loan to the Supervisors Tuesday, which the County may pursue. She says expenditures for capital projects would come out of the loan funds and includes general purpose items/projects and essential purpose items/projects and can include items like new Sheriff's vehicles or communication center radios. A county of Buena Vista's size may sell bonds up to $600,000 without an election.
Strawn says if the County were to start a capital project program it would spread the cost of a particular project over a number of years so taxpayers wouldn't see an increase or decrease in the debt services levy and says the Supervisors seem to agree this would be a positive benefit to taxpayers.