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Victoria County Balances Budget With No Tax Increases

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All week Victoria County Commissioners held  budget meetings, and on Friday a draft of the 2018 budget was finished.

During the week-long budget meetings, the county made necessary cuts but Judge Ben Zeller tells says cuts wont impact service to the community.

The county came into this budget year with a significant revenue shortfall. Several departments that report to County Commissioners, including the health department and airport, had to make cuts to funding.

"There's been several vacant positions in the county that aren't being filled immediately and there's been some cost-cutting in some operational expenses. We're just looking for anyway we can to save money and to balance this budget without raising taxes, and we were successful in that effort, " said Zeller.

Victoria County Sheriff's Office is seeing additional funding. Zeller says the county plans to prioritize law enforcement and public safety in 2018.

With the general fund budget being smaller than last year, he says the county is trying to do more with less money.

"We were looking at about a $800,000 to $900,000 sales tax revenue shortfall. That combined with some large expenses put us looking to close a million and a half dollar gap in our budget, which we did, and I think that is a huge accomplishment," said Zeller. 

Zeller tells me with the million dollar plus deficit, the county emerged with no tax increases. Going into to 2018 there will be no use of savings from the county, and no reducing county employee benefits.

This draft budget will be posted on the county's website, and there will be a public hearing next month. Then the court will vote to adapt the budget late September.

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