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Warren County Freeholders pass budget without increasing taxes

By Stephen Althouse, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 10 2013 10:29:57 PM CDT

The Warren County Freeholders unanimously approved a 2013 budget that will raise the county levy during Wednesday night’s meeting but will not provide a net tax increase to county residents.

Freeholder Rick Gardner said that county residents would not see a “net tax increase” as a result of the approved $106.8 million budget. The balance budget approved did not come easily, according to President Jason Sarnoski, who said there were “hard choices that had to be made.”

When the budget process started freeholders were $3.5 million short of a balanced budget, according to Sarnoski. After much belt-tightening freeholders decided to use $1.2 million from the Health Care Reserve Trust and a surplus in order to pass the no tax increase budget.

Freeholders passed a resolution decreasing the rate for the open space tax by 1. 5 cents from 6 to 4.5 and will continue to explore further consolidation efforts to marginalize decreased revenues.

Sarnoski noted that at the next freeholder meeting that “possible new ideas” surrounding the county’s nursing home, Warren Haven, would be discussed. Last month the freeholders voted to privatize aspects of the nursing home. That meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 24th.