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2/20/2013 6:01:00 AM
Budget short, but Mohave County officials vow: No new taxes

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - The budget process for the next fiscal year is just getting started and two Mohave County supervisors are looking for ways to fill possible budget holes without raising taxes.

The topic came up during Monday's Kingman Republican Men's Club meeting. Club president Dr. Laurence Schiff asked District 2 Supervisor Hildy Angius and District 5 Supervisor Steven Moss what the county planned to do with the $380,000 it had saved when the Board of Supervisors eliminated the four deputy county manager positions.

The money would probably go to filling any budget holes, Moss said.

"Assessed values for proprieties have dipped again," he said. "The savings may go to filling those holes so we can avoid raising taxes."

"We're just starting the budget process. It's going to take some time to get a handle on it. So I can't say what (is going to happen). Everyone saw this coming and everyone is making their case, everyone wants more money," Angius said.

Moss couldn't give an exact figure for the dip in revenues, stating that the county hasn't started the budget process yet and he wasn't comfortable throwing out figures.

How deep the budget hole may be is still unknown. County finance director John Timko declined to comment on what might be in store for the county's 2014 budget.

County officials typically start holding budget hearings with department heads in March. A preliminary budget is usually presented to the Board of Supervisors in June. A final budget must be approved by the Board by Aug. 1.

Last year, the county budgeted for around $77 million in expenses and around $32 million in property tax revenue and an estimated $42 million from other revenue sources.

That budget included a $2 million decrease in the amount of revenue the county took in and additional funding swept by the state to pay for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, county employee retirement funds and funding for two new supervisors offices. The county had to sweep around $900,000 from its special taxing districts in order to help fill the hole. The county also continued its hiring and wage freeze, which has been in place since 2007.

Assessed property values lag about a year and half behind the actual market value of a property. The idea is to protect revenues from drastic swings in the property market.

Former Arizona Rep. Nancy McLain pointed out that the state's revenues are also about two years behind current property values and the county could expect a hit in state shared revenue this year as well.

"I made a vow not to raise taxes and I plan to keep it," Angius said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013
Article comment by: concerned citizen

@A Friendly Suggestion
You're holding Hildy up as an example to follow?? This is laughable.
- Her primary challenger(Tunforss) could have beat her, so she files a law suit over a bogus claim that he didn't have the right count on his petitions
- Her general election challenge (Sockwell) was asleep
- Her fight with the library was given to her from research by others, I'm told
- Her fight with Walker was spurned on by her
- etc
No, this is not someone to idolize and to hold up as a role model.

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Article comment by: A Friendly Suggestion

Janice, I'm not being critical - just a suggestion. Why not start a blog on the Miner that lists these useless projects, sweetheart deals, corruption? Most of us are way to busy trying to survive to give time to attend the meetings or do the research. I think you could do much to educate the public and who knows you might even gain the name recognition and respect to be elected to BOS or council - look at Hildy.

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Article comment by: Tell Me What Jobs Are Getting Raises in This Economy

Wondering. The Sheriff's office is very well compensated given the average compensation in this area.

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

@vock canyon

Unless I'm mistaken...the pension is a 401K type thing. I don't believe any funds from the County will be expended in the future for his pension.

You mention SS? Really? His Navy pension is already probably more than most people in the County will take home in their working years. Check out the rates on that?

As to declaring bankruptcy...thats a cowards way or or only a last resort. Do you have any idea what future loans and bonds would be like if they did?

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Article comment by: janice palmer

as i stated many times when i ran for supervisor district 1, cut our some of the useless projects on the agenda every month. usually between 25-43 each month. you know sweetheart contracts to contractors and friends of the supers.???? think about it. or go to a meeting and get a copy of the agenda. and then read it.

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Article comment by: vock canyon

actually it can be changed. The county will have to file for bankruptcy to get out of it. This is has been going on in many california cities. This pension is past reasonable, then add SS.

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Wondering about the pay still

Is the overworked understaffed Sheriff's Office going to get jerked out of pay raises again this year? What talent is at there is leaving to other places that pays them what they're worth.

It's the loss to the community to continue to underpay them.

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

@ vock canyon...
And how would that be done? There was a contract and a pension plan was in it.

Would you like it if your employer just changed the rules after you had retired?

Like it or is what it is.

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Article comment by: vock canyon

has everyone forgotten that last year the rates were raised 24%? Let's save another $250k by cutting the ex-county managers pension.

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Republicans remind me of someone whose had a salary cut, refuse to awknowledge they either need to get a second job or start putting grandma outside to starve! So happy I moved to Tucson a few weeks ago! I will enjoy watching the show from afar!

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Article comment by: Al DiCicco

That's right, last year they raided State medicaid for the Kingman jail personel salaries in prison planet. Cut salaries and personel, do not tax the people. Find money elsewhere!

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