Published Date Written by Michael KitchLACONIA — The Belknap County Convention appears set to approve the 2013 county budget at its next meeting scheduled for Monday, March 4.
As presented by Rep. Colette Worsman (R-Meredith), who chairs the convention, and amended this week, the budget would appropriate $26,132,616, which would be offset by $12,085,456 in revenues from sources other than property taxes, leaving $14,047,160 to be raised by property taxes, an increase of 0.3 percent.
The convention has thus far reduced the total appropriations recommended by the Belknap County Commission by $651,980 and raised the revenues projected by the commission by $600,500, reducing the amount to be raised by property taxes by $1,252,480.
Personnel costs, both compensation and benefits, totaling $453,572 represent 70-percent of the reductions the convention made to the commission's budget. The elimination of step raises, together with the associated costs of payroll taxes and retirement contributions amounts to $286,244. The convention stripped $101,868 in funding to defray a 7.3-percent increase in health insurance premiums. Bonuses for unused sick time and longevity of service amounting to $65,460 were also struck from the budget.
On the revenue side, the convention drew $2,350,000 from the fund balance to offset the need to raise more in property taxes. Originally the commission recommended applying $2.1-million, but subsequently suggested $2.6-million.
There is a discrepancy of $52,000, representing the cost of a position at the Department of Corrections, between the budget Worsman presented and the budget posted on the county website. Apparently Worsman assumed that the convention voted to eliminate funding for the position, but the vote is not recorded in the minutes at this point.