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Without track record, use tax revenue not yet reflected in county budget

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Out of state sale tax revenues are not yet including in the county budget, which was made available for inspection from Tuesday, Jan. 29 until Tuesday, Feb. 12, when the County Commission will hold its budget hearing.

In the November 2012 general election, county residents voted in favor of sales taxes to be collected on out of state purchases.

At this time, the revenues are not reflected in the 2013-2014 budget because the county can not predict what will be the total amount received, said Tara Vogelsmeier, Saline County auditor.

"It's hard for us to know how much out of state sales people actually do," Vogelsmeier said.

Currently, the county budget shows an increase in the general revenue from $2,702,636 last year to $2,907,820 for this year -- a $205,184 difference. The increase is due in part to having more carryover cash from last year's budget, totaling $417,000.

Although use tax revenue could add to this year's revenue, Vogelsmeier said the Department of Revenue will not start turning over the use tax money until March.

"So we just left that at zero for now," Vogelsmeier said. "We will review the budget as we go on and possibly have a budget hearing in June or July where we discuss a possible increase."

Vogelsmeier said that, even after receiving this years use tax revenue, it will still be hard to predict how much money the county could anticipate for the years to come. She said predictions are better done after having a three-year average.

"We set our budget with what we know, with what we really feel comfortable anticipating," Vogelsmeier said.

Contact Carlos Restrepo at crestrepo@marshallnews.com



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