Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Shortfall in revenues complicates county budget

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Hamilton County's revenues are running about $34 million behind the budget requests for next year.

        It's not unusual for budget requests to exceed cash on hand, Hamilton County Administrator Dave Krings said. But this year is a little different, and more distressing.

        “The difference this year is, the discrepancy is from a decrease in revenue projections, rather than an increase in spending requests,” Mr. Krings said. “With increased spending requests, you can just say no. We don't have that type of easy decision this year.”

        County administrators, who are beginning to put together their annual budget for next year, will meet with department heads over the next few weeks to try and balance the budget. The deficit relates to the more than $250 million piece of the budget known as the general fund, which pays for most county services.

        The county is in financial trouble because state contributions will be lower than normal this year after the Ohio Supreme Court's order to the legislature to spend more money on education. The impact will be at least $5 million, but could be much more.


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- Shortfall in revenues complicates county budget