They attributed the cuts to a decline in tax revenues.
To make up for the shortfall, department budgets were cut 10 percent across the board, and there will be no raises. Annual funding requests to the county from various groups and agencies will also be cut 10 percent across the board.
The 2017 county budget of $10.68 million funds the commissioners, administration, planning department, sheriff and jail, assessor’s office, treasurer’s office, clerk’s office, road and bridge, information technology, surveyor, social services, attorneys, mapping and elections, plus more.
Overall, funding for county services are tightly tied to the massive Kinder Morgan CO2 industry, whose property tax revenues contributed half of the county’s entire $37 million budget for 2015. Besides funding the county, that budget also includes partly funding three school districts, three towns, water districts, fire departments, Southwest Memorial Hospital, sanitation district, cemetery districts, library districts, mosquito district, and more.
Further straining the 2017 budget is the more than $6 million the county is expecting to chip in toward the new combined courthouse, a project mandated by the state.
Other expected costs for 2017 are $350,000 to remodel the county building vacated by the courts and $100,000 fix the county annex parking lot.