Washington County’s $71.3 million 2013 spending plan, required by law to be balanced by year’s end, is $5 million out of whack.
The county is attempting to make up for federal and state budget cuts with no corresponding mandate to cut back services.
Although the budget shows red ink, neither does it feature an increase in the property tax levy of 24.9 mills.
The size of the deficit is quintuple the amount of the preliminary budget a year ago.
“We’re going to have to use some of our surplus to balance the budget,” said Roger Metcalfe, county finance director. Metcalfe said the costs of providing what’s known in government lingo as “human services” - care of children, youth and the aged and assistance to veterans - “have sort of exploded.”
Read more in Thursday’s Observer-Reporter.