During Tuesday's county commission meeting, commissioners engaged in discussions regarding the adoption of the 2024 budgets for Saline County and its corresponding special districts. This decision carries significant implications, as Kansas law stipulates that an officially adopted budget not only sanctions the imposition of property taxes but also dictates the utilization of financial resources.
In a noteworthy context, the cut-off date for submitting an approved budget to the County Clerk was traditionally August 25 of the preceding year. However, a legislative development emerged in 2021 through Senate Bill 13, which introduced alterations to the budget adoption criteria. This chiefly pertains to budgets that incorporate a tax levy generating revenues surpassing those of the previous year. Additionally, adjustments to the budget adoption timeline were implemented.
For entities like Rural Fire Districts #1, 3, and 4, the Kipp Sewer District, and the Falun Improvement District, adhering to the Revenue Neutral Rate, the obligation to submit a ratified budget to the County Clerk remains on or before August 25. Conversely, for Saline County and Fire Districts 2, 5, 6, and 7, seeking to surpass the Revenue Neutral Rate, the earliest admissible date for conducting a Revenue Neutral Rate hearing is August 20.
Notice dissemination for both the Revenue Neutral Rate hearings and public hearings regarding the budgets occurred through Salina311 on August 2, 2023. Furthermore, the information was made accessible on the County's official website. Notably, notifications concerning the Revenue Neutral Rate hearings were also published in the McPherson Sentinel for RFD #2 on August 2, 2023, and in the Minneapolis Messenger for RFD #5 on August 10, 2023.
The presented budgets, which were grounded in directives set forth during the Commission's July 18 and 25 meetings, were brought forth for approval. Approval of these budgets at the present meeting signifies the culmination of the meticulous 2024 budget preparation process.
In terms of fiscal impact, the endorsement of these budgets translates to the County's ability to allocate funds amounting to $66,106,326 over the course of 2024. This would be facilitated by a property tax levy that is projected to be approximately 1.041 mills higher than the current fiscal year. Furthermore, special districts are poised to have authorization for an additional expenditure of $1,125,390.
The motion to approve the budgets garnered a 4-0 consensus among the commissioners. Commissioner Shadwick was not present.