Livingston County’s budget for the coming year has been adopted, while the county has also received recognition for last year’s budget document.

The county’s Board of Commissioners met last week and first held a public hearing regarding adoption of the 2019 budget, though no community members spoke either for or against the item. County Administrator Ken Hinton then presented some the budget highlights, which includes the ability to maintain current service levels and leverage additional funds to increase public transportation services. Also among those highlights was the announcement that Livingston County has received the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for their 2018 Operating Budget Document. The award reflects the county’s commitment to meet the highest principals of government budgeting by satisfying nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. The county’s Operating Budget Document received outstanding ratings for strategic goals and strategies, unit goals and objectives, performance measures, and long-range financial plans.

A few changes from last year’s budget were reflected in the 2019 budget, one example being appropriations for indigent defense as required by state law. There is also a budgeting change for the county’s court system, as it will soon eliminate one district court judgeship and add a circuit court judgeship; however Hinton says that budgeting change does not have a significant dollar impact.

Several commissioners made a point to recognize the work that went into the budgeting process, which began in late June. The process begins with a base projection, before departments begin submitting their requests to the respective committee. The requests are then analyzed before Administration presents a recommendation to the Finance committee. Finally, the Finance committee makes its decision based on the department requests and Administration’s recommendation, adjusts the budget accordingly, and then moves the document to the Board of Commissioners for adoption. The board voted unanimously on December 3rd to adopt the budget for 2019.

The budget has a general fund balance of a little more than $50 million. There are 12 categories that make up the county’s revenue sources. 2019 projections presented in June indicated that taxes account for the largest portion of the county’s revenue at 63%, with charges for services coming in 2nd place at 13%, followed by state sources at 12%. (DK)