Summit County officials, who have had to trim budget expenses every year since the recession beginning in 2008, are hopeful that by 2014 they won't have to dip into the county's reserve or rainy day fund to balance the budget.
Summit County Budget and Finance Director Brian Nelson tells AkronNewsNow the local economy is rebounding and it's helping the county's bottom line. 'We're seeing sales tax growth, conveyance tax growth. We've seen an increase in the activity at our building department in terms of the number of permits being issued."
Nelsen says Summit County has cut spending by about $20-million a year since 2008. He says the county will receive less in revenue than it did 13 years ago. "One of the biggest reasons property value deductions, and also reductions in funding from the state of Ohio. If you look back at 2008, just prior to the recession we were forecasting bringing in $117-million in revenue heading into 2008. We are going to bring in $95-million in total revenues this year to the county general fund,"says Nelsen.
Nelsen estimates the county will have about 26-million dollars in reserve carry-over funds for 2013 and 2014. But the county will have to tap into those funds this year and next to balance the budget.
Nelsen says Summit County can move away from using reserve funds if it does not provide any cost-of-living to employees, who have not had any pay increases in several years.