County erases deficit with local income tax funding

The $1.6 million deficit that remained after the 2018 Bartholomew County budget was approved three months ago has been wiped off the books.

That was accomplished Tuesday after the county council agreed to use a recent increase in the local income tax to cover the entire annual budget of the Bartholomew County Youth Services Center. The center’s budget is almost identical to the deficit, county auditor Barb Hackman said.

When coupled with a $320,000 shortfall in the E911 budget, about $1.9 million of the new revenue had been earmarked to cover specific expenses, Hackman said.

That still leaves about $400,000 in expendable income, with more money to be periodically deposited later this year.

Although there’s no shortage of needs and wants regarding the new income, council members made it clear they won’t be rushed into anything.

“We are going to be conservative,” new council leader Mark Gorbett said. “We don’t want everyone coming in, wanting a piece of this pie real quick.”

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.