The Genesee County Board of Commissioners submitted a budget for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year this week. This starts the process for the public to review and comment on proposed expenditures before expected final adoption on September 23, 2020. The Fiscal Year 20/21, a nearly $100 million budget, faces an expected reduction in revenue of $11 million (FYE 20 – $105,301,528 vs. FYE 21 – $94,696,736). This reduction required tough decisions in setting priorities for how the county will spend tax dollars.
“I challenged our staff to commit to public safety first,” said Board Chairman Dr. Martin Cousineau.
“This Board believes that public safety is a priority for our residents, and we dedicated as many resources towards that effort as possible,” Cousineau added.
This proposed budget dedicates nearly 60% of the general fund dollars towards public safety consisting of courts, sheriff and prosecutor. This is the highest percentage of the general fund than at any other time in at least the last five years. The chart below shows a comparison of that percentage.
Department FY21 FY20 FY19 FY18 FY17
Courts 25.33% 23.08% 26.66% 27.30% 26.82%
Prosecutor 6.71% 6.25% 6.31% 6.03% 6.32%
Sheriff 24.04% 20.84% 23.14% 22.66% 22.11%
This budget also reflects the county’s commitment to Genesee County retirees. This fiscal year will see nearly 20% of the general fund (approximately $19 million) going towards retiree healthcare, due to dramatically rising healthcare costs.
When comparing to last year’s budget, the county has reduced the amount of money that will be used from the savings by half. This year’s budget is still projected to use $5 million from savings.
For the remaining departments such as the Clerk/Register, Treasury, Drains, Equalization, Public Health, Medical Examiner, Fiscal Services, Human Resources, Building & Grounds, the Board of Commissioners and others will split the remaining 20% of the general fund budget.
“These were tough decisions for the level of services that our county could offer,” said Finance Committee Chair Kim Courts.
“While there are reductions included here, we tried to focus on our priorities and direct as many dollars as possible towards those areas,” Courts added.
The public will be able to find the full 2021 projected budget on page 366 of the following PDF file: http://geneseecountymi.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=2585&Inline=True
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