Read Our Lips: No New Clarion County Taxes
Clarion County taxes have not been raised since 2012.
Clarion County Commissioners Ed Heasley, Ted Tharan, and Wayne Brosius gave approval for a final 2019 budget of $18.3 million with no increases in taxes – real estate taxes of 20.5 mills and a county per capita tax of $5.
The commissioners described the new budget as balanced, responsible, and realistic.
“Clarion County elected officials and department heads worked hard to build a budget on expenditures that are necessary and not just ‘wants’ for the 2019 budget,” said the Commissioners. “As daily operating, salary, and benefits costs increase each year, without additional taxes, the administration must cut expenses wherever we can to offset the increases.”
“Sometimes, you just have to cut expenses by realigning workloads, changing how things are done, and we’re looking at the bigger picture of what has to be done for services provided versus what we used to do just because that’s how it’s always been done.”
The net county budget is $15,426,752.00 after pass-through grants are deducted.
Clarion County acts more or less as a conduit for some grants. Special revenues and expenditures for the Communications/9-1-1 Fund and the Liquid Fuels Fund that are both budgeted for separately within the budget and the budget totals include $2,913,400.00 for possible pass-through grant funding for 2019, YMCA, Allegheny Valley Land Trust, and the Clarion Healthcare projects.
“Clarion County’s budget and oversight of the County’s finances is probably the most important responsibility of the County Commissioners,” said Heasley. “The budget is a financial tool for the county administration that evolves as needs and funding sources change.”
“The commissioners have approximately 29 offices, departments, and/or agencies to oversee the budget financing expenses for their day-to-day operations. Because the county cannot foresee everything that may happen, contingencies funds are included to the best of our ability to protect for the unknown.”
According to the commissioners, the bottom line is that “the Board of Commissioners are the stewards of the Clarion County taxpayer dollars and property, as such as is our duty to research every avenue how to cut operating expenses to ensure prudent use of the taxpayers hard earned tax dollars, while providing county services and resources expected in addition to maintaining the county-owned properties, which were neglected for far too long.”
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