Sunday, November 23, 2014

Report: County faces tough budget talks

By The Herald Staff | 6/9/2014

As the Franklin County Board of Commissioners heads into 2015 budget talks this week, officials are tasked with figuring out how to cope with dwindling revenues outlined in a county revenues report conducted by Kansas State University.

Annual per capita revenues in Franklin County decreased 2 percent from 2004 compared to 2012 to $864, while the county’s annual per capita expenditures increased 23 percent to $996, according to the K-State report.

As the Franklin County Board of Commissioners heads into 2015 budget talks this week, officials are tasked with figuring out how to cope with dwindling revenues outlined in a county revenues report conducted by Kansas State University.

Annual per capita revenues in Franklin County decreased 2 percent from 2004 compared to 2012 to $864, while the county’s annual per capita expenditures increased 23 percent to $996, according to the K-State report.

Meanwhile, real per capita revenues in the average Kansas county increased 30 percent to $1,533, outpacing expenditures that rose 29 percent to $1,497, according to the report.

The data comes from K-State’s 15th report that details each county government’s budgetary trends from 2004 compared to 2012. The report’s main purpose is to provide useful information to county elected officials as they prepare budgets for the next year, according to a news release.

Commissioners began discussing the county budget Monday. Those talks were to continue during a study session today at the Franklin County Annex Building, 301 S. Main St., Ottawa.

John Leatherman, director of the Office of Local Government for the K-State Research and Extension, said the K-State report can be useful for Kansas residents as well local officials.

“It all starts with having access to basic data,” Leatherman said. “We’re simply trying to give county commissioners tools that can help them monitor their financial situation.

“At the same time, though, the report can provide average citizens with unbiased, independent information about local government finance. So, it can serve as a starting point for dialogue between elected officials and their constituents,” he said.

Rebecca Bishop, lead author of the report, warned residents to be careful before drawing their own conclusions from the data.

“You need to look beyond the numbers to understand the local situation,” she said. “You also need to consider any part of the broader context that may be affecting local finances, such as the current economic environment or trends in state aid programs.”

comments powered by Disqus