The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 14, 2014

Newton County 2014 budget proposes spending of $9.6 million

NEOSHO, Mo. — The Newton County Commission on Monday was putting final touches on a 2014 county budget with estimated spending of $9.6 million.

That compares with spending of $9.4 million approved in the 2013 budget.

Revenues in the 2014 budget are estimated at $7,919,120, plus a carry-over from 2013 of $1,729,352 for total revenue of $9,648,472.

That compares with 2013 total revenue of nearly $9.9 million, which also included a carry-over from the previous year.

Presiding Commissioner Marilyn Ruestman called it a zero-growth budget. The county government is financed with a seven-eighths-cent sales tax, which saw decreased revenue in 2013.

Ruestman said the county likely would see increased sales tax revenue related to Mercy Hospital Joplin when it is completed, and from other projects on the outskirts of Neosho.

“We’ve got one more year to live through what I’m calling a zero-growth budget,” Ruestman said.

The budget will include no wage increases for county workers, she said. She said that when the increased revenues materialize, the county hopes to help employees to catch up.

A road sales tax of one-fourth of a cent approved by voters in November 2011 allowed county road districts to perform catch-up maintenance and add nearly 50 miles of surfaced roads. Three bridges also were replaced in the past year.

Public hearing

THE NEWTON COUNTY COMMISSION will conduct its public hearing on the budget at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the commission office at the Newton County Courthouse.

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