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Commission approves $88.215 million budget
by Bill Baldowski
December 23, 2013 04:21 PM | 1648 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By a 4-1 vote, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved the 2014 budget of $88.2 million with no millage rate hike.

Commissioner Ann Jones Guider cast the lone dissenting vote on the budget. Although there was no tax increase, Guider voted against the budget because it did not call for any decrease in the 23.7 percent property tax increase the board of commissioners approved last July to fund the 2013 budget. The budget passed with four amendments, three of which passed on a 4-1 vote with Guider voting no on each.

The commission unanimously approved a health care amendment proposed by Chairman Tom Worthan that would add an extra $1 million to the $500,000 in the budget package earmarked to shrink the county’s $3 million health care fund deficit.

Guider cast the lone dissenting vote on Commissioner Mike Mulcare’s amendment that added $1 million to the county’s capital transportation fund. She also voted against Commissioner Henry Mitchell’s amendment which called for $500,000 to be allocated in reserve so the county could avoid taking out tax anticipation notes.

Guider said she voted against the budget for two reasons.

“I wanted to use the $1.5 million of our surplus to address the deficit and give some tax relief to our taxpaying citizens,” she said.

“I also wanted to address the need for funding to hire additional firefighters but neither issue was addressed in the budget.”

Guider said she debated supporting Mulcare’s $1 million transportation amendment because she supports transportation improvements. “However, this should have been brought up at our commission retreat.

“The commission took $300,000 out of the transportation capital fund to fund the construction of trails and if they are going to do that, I am not supporting it,” she said, adding she supports roads, not trails.

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