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Revenue decline might force county to 'buckle down'

6/3/2014

By RANDY GONZALES

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailyews.net

Ellis County commissioners could have some tough decisions to make when it comes to the 2015 budget.

Commissioners learned in Monday's special meeting at 601 Main the county could have approximately $1.1 million less revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

"I think the biggest thing we're going to have a challenge with at this point is the potential loss of revenue," Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund said after the meeting.

Expected declines in revenue in personal property tax and oil and gas could mean a shift to an increase in real estate tax, unless the commission elects to reduce the funding level.

"I can't imagine people standing for shifting $1 million of personal property to real estate," Sund said.

"That's a big hit, ladies and gentleman," Commission Chairwoman Barbara Wasinger told department heads. "All these wonderful things we want to do, all these things we really have to do, we have to buckle down and figure out where our absolute needs (are), and what we can possibly do without. ... That is the bad news today."

Commissioners are expected to have two more budget meetings next month with department heads.