Bibb budget to draw $4.9 million from reserves

Bibb County’s fiscal 2013 budget calls for pulling about $4.9 million from the county’s financial reserves, but no residents showed up at Thursday’s public hearing to discuss the budget.

The draft $87.2 million budget for the county’s general fund is about 3.9 percent higher than the current year’s budget. No property tax increase is planned.

Some county revenues declined while costs increased. Many of those costs are driven by the first full year of a pay scale, which adds $1.25 million to the budget, as well as the adoption of five Macon departments beginning July 1.

Those costs include about $1.3 million for inspection and fees and about $641,000 for the animal welfare department. The budget also shows a hit of $1.8 million to the county’s local option sales tax because of a change in how recreation is paid for.

A decline in real and personal property taxes also saps the county’s revenue by $1.7 million. The budget also calls for an increase of nearly $2 million in capital outlay and a $1.1 million increase in workers’ compensation.

Savings shown in the budget include $725,000 for traffic safety and about $1.8 million in debt service payments.

The use of $4.9 million from the fund balance would use about one-sixth of the county’s financial reserves, now projected to be $31.4 million at the end of this month.

The county’s current fiscal 2012 budget also had called for the use of those reserves to balance its budget, but the county expects a surplus instead.

When commissioners began reviewing next year’s budget, the shortfall stood at $13.1 million.

Another budget hearing, with the planned adoption of the budget to follow, is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday in the Bibb County Courthouse.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.