Allen County approves 2018 tax budget

By Craig Kelly -

LIMA — Uncertainty at the state level has caused a slight decline in the revenue estimates on the Allen County 2018 tax budget, but the county auditor expects those numbers to rise.

Allen County Auditor Rhonda Eddy-Stienecker met with Allen County commissioners Tuesday for a hearing on the 2018 tax budget, examining revenues and expenses for all county accounts earning money from tax levies — the Allen County general fund, Allen County Children Services, the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board and the Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District. The Allen County general fund is projected to have a balance of $1.95 million as of the end of this year.

Eddy-Stienecker said that this is the first step in what is a yearly review process.

“Since those funds receive taxes through levies, those are included in my report, as well as our countywide general obligation debt,” Eddy-Stienecker said. “So basically, I take the 2011 through 2016 actual expenditures and revenue, and then I take 2017 and 2018 as estimates given to me by departments. It’s a budgeting tool.”

In estimating the county’s 2018 estimated revenues, Eddy-Stienecker factored in a nearly $775,000 reduction with potential losses in the Medicaid managed care organization sales tax. However, while restoring that tax revenue is still being debated at the state level, Eddy-Stienecker is confident the actual revenue numbers will be different from this initial estimate.

“We were told through the state that the last quarter of the year, we will see a reduction and next year, in 2018, we will see a 4.5 percent reduction in the Medicaid managed sales tax,” she said. “I know that state legislators are working on different options to replace the revenue, but at this point, we don’t know what they’re doing, so with this being the first, preliminary budget, I went ahead and reduced the revenue to account for that reduction. Do I expect revenue to be higher by the end of the year? Absolutely, but at this point, let’s be a little conservative.”

Commissioners approved the tax budget at the end of the meeting.

By Craig Kelly

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.