Prepping for its tentative budget hearing on Sept. 6 in the county seat of Brooksville, many Hernando County government divisions have reduced their FY2017 budget amounts to balance the General Fund, local leaders said recently.
With the final version of the budget scheduled for authorization at a Sept. 20 hearing, both meetings are planned for 5:01 p.m. at Brooksville’s Government Center, 20 N. Main Street.
When constitutional budgets were submitted earlier this summer to the Office of Management and Budget, Hernando County’s Board of County Commission (BOCC) determined that the General Fund showed an approximate $10.4 million deficit. To compensate, the BOCC used a millage increase to achieve a balanced spreadsheet by a state-imposed July deadline; it also took specific actions to slash costs where it could.
Those decisions included removing all capital expenditures except for Hunters Lake improvements, saving $3 million; reducing operating expenses to shave $3.3 million; adjusting reserves to save $1.1 million, and adjusting revenue sources for an additional reduction of $1 million. In total, the reductions lowered the county’s deficit by $8.4 million.
“With the cuts to capital expenses we will be unable to replace worn out roofs and air conditioning units at multiple government buildings,” County Administrator Leonard Sossamon said. “Reductions to the operating expenses will impact our Unsafe Building Program, prevent us from making much needed technological upgrades and delay replacement of old playground equipment at parks.”
If the jurisdiction requests increases to cover reserves needed, homeowners may see a very slight rise in property taxes — estimated at less than $30 per $100,000 taxable value.