Bartholomew County will use a good chunk of the revenues from the recently enacted income tax hike to patch a hole in next year’s county budget.
County officials were looking at almost a $1.7 million dollar deficit for next year, before the tax was enacted.
This week the County Council agreed to move an entire department out of the general fund and to pay for it out of the income tax revenues, balancing next year’s budget in one swoop.
Council President Laura DeDomenic made the proposal to pay for the youth services department, which has a budget of about $1.6 million dollars, out of the new income tax revenue slated for public safety.
DeDomenic said she went looking for a department that was small enough to fit the fund but also public safety related. The jail, sheriff’s department, courts and others were too big to pay out of just income tax revenues, she said.
One of her goals was to not split a department budget across multiple revenue sources.
DeDomenic also proposed spending about $300,000 out of the public safety income tax dollars to support the 911 system. That would take up about $2 million of the estimated $2.3 million public safety fund, she said.
The income tax increase is expected to bring in more than $4.4 million dollars to the county with just over half slated for public safety. The rest will be used for capital projects and possible funding of efforts to stem the opiate drug epidemic. Plans for that spending are still being developed.