At long last, Schuylkill County has released a somewhat digital version of its proposed 2022 budget.
The proposed budget outlines how the county plans to spend money next year. It was approved by Schuylkill County Commissioners on Nov. 17 and a final version of the budget is expected to be approved on Dec. 15.
In the meantime, the public has a right to inspect the budget. But until now, you had to go to the Courthouse to view it.
To get this copy of the proposed budget, the County made us fill out a Right to Know form and then made us wait 7 business days to get a response.
On Thursday, we received 3 files. All appear to be scans of paper documents and saved as PDF. Included in the documents we received were:
- Preliminary budget resolution
- Department Summary Expense report
- Department Summary Revenue report
The budget calls for no property tax increase in 2022, with the millage rate steady at 15.98. It’ll be the 4th consecutive year with no property tax increase from Schuylkill County government but that may not last forever.
Schuylkill County Finance Director Paul Buber said in presenting the proposed budget that there’s a more than $4 million shortfall between general fund revenue and expenses for 2022. The County can avoid a tax increase, however, by pulling that shortfall amount from what’s known as the unassigned fund balance.
The shortfall was nearly double that before those involved in the budget process were able to trim general fund expenses.
Proposed 2022 Schuylkill County Budget
- Revenue: $65,543,678
- Expenses: $69,620,417
Buber highlighted several areas that are driving the increased operational costs the County is expecting to incur in 2022:
- Employee compensation: +$780,000
- Healthcare: +$1,059,000
- Children & Youth allocation from General Fund: +$603,537
- There is enough in the Debt Services budget to “retire the debt” the County incurred in buying new voting machines that were first used in 2020. By “retiring” the debt, Buber says the County will save about $375,000 in interest payments.
Schuylkill County Proposed 2022 Budget Finally Released
Here are the documents we acquired from our Right to Know request with Schuylkill County Courthouse seeking the proposed 2022 Schuylkill County government budget. Take the time to peruse them on your time. While we present this information now with very little context, we’ll be digging deeper into the budget in the coming days and weeks.
Department Summary Expense Report202112021309 expenses
Department Summary Revenue Report202112021310 revenue
READ MORE ABOUT THE HIDDEN BUDGET:
- Schuylkill County WILL Post Budget Online, But …
- Schuylkill Budget Folly Continues – Courthouse Says It Needs More Time
- Schuylkill County Has a Policy of Bare Minimum Transparency
- Transparency? Schuylkill County Requiring Right to Know Forms for Copy of Proposed 2022 Budget
AND READ EVEN MORE IN OUR NEW SECTION, YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW, WHERE WE FIGHT FOR PUBLIC ACCESS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT