The Vigo County Council is considering significant cuts as it crafts the county budget for the 2018 fiscal year. The council met Tuesday night to discuss some of the details.
The council is considering lowering the budget for local road funding after the Indiana legislature passed an increased gas tax to fund infrastructure projects. The council also discussed appropriating money from health savings funds and other areas with surpluses, although no cuts have been decided.
Members also debated raising part-time wages in the parks department and increasing the budget for the sheriff’s department.
Council member Jim Mann says the council’s goal is to provide tax payers with the best plan for the money they pay. He says they hope to reduce the budget by the amount lost due to circuit breakers such as property tax caps.
“And we’re having to look at making $6.9 million in cuts to the requested budget in order to meet the, in order to achieve the best possible budget for the Vigo County tax payer,” Mann says.
The council is required to decide a budget plan by Nov. 1, but Mann says they’re hoping to complete it by their next meeting on Sept. 12.
The Terre Haute City Council will also meet that week to discuss the city’s 2018 budget, which is decided separately from the county’s.
Terre Haute is also working to counteract losses caused by property tax caps. The city recently received a state order to eliminate a nearly $8 million deficit carried over from previous years, and state audits have called into question the city’s ability to continue operating as a municipality.
The city council’s budget meeting will take place on Sept. 14.