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The 2019-2020 budget was recently approved by the Butler County Board of Supervisors during its gathering last week.

In conjunction with the county budget being passed, the governing body unanimously approved this year’s tax request. The board unanimously voted 6-0 – District 5 Supervisor Scott Steager wasn’t in attendance – in favor of setting this year’s tax request at $4,133,364.83.

Information provided by Butler County Clerk Stephanie Laska shows that this figure is a 2-percent increase in valuation in comparison to the county budget during 2018-2019.

The tax rate which will levy the same amount of county property taxes as last year, when multiplied by the new total assessed value of property, will be $0.153041 per $100 of assessed value for property owners, provided information shows.

This year’s budget spans the length of the fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. A finalized budget must be presented to State Auditor Charlie Janssen’s office by Sept. 20.

Prior to both pieces being passed, county residents had the opportunity to address the board regarding how their tax dollars were being spent in this budget cycle. Nobody spoke against the proposed – and ultimately passed – tax request, however, some conversation was had regarding the county road budget being raised nearly 16 percent this budget year, according to the minutes from last week’s meeting.

Jim Truksa, these minutes show, approached the board with questions regarding the 15.7-percent increase in that specific area, a 9-percent increase in personnel services and questions surrounding $300,000 more being allocated toward the county gravel budget.

Prior to the budget being passed, meeting minutes show that some funds were adjusted in an effort to fulfill some direct needs of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Tom Dion approached the board and said that he’d made an error with his budget request. With two patrol cars needing to be outfitted with equipment, the estimate he received is about $40,000. However, not enough money was budgeted in his original request to make this happen.

As a result, meeting minutes show the board instructed Laska to add $20,000 to the sheriff’s budget, and in an effort to not increase the property tax request, they also instructed her to subtract that $20,000 from the Road Department (reducing personnel services).

A summary of the budget changes will be published at the time of filing the budget with Janssen’s office, according to minutes compiled during the meeting.

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News Editor

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram, Schuyler Sun and The Banner-Press newspapers. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015.

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