SKOWHEGAN — The proposed Somerset County budget for the coming year is up about $200,000, meaning marginal increases in taxes spread across the 34 towns, plantations and territories in the county.

A public hearing on the proposed $11,488,000 county spending package for 2012-13 is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Superior Court room in the county building on High Street.

The spending package is up 1.7 percent over the current year and includes jail operations and debt service on the jail.

Somerset County Administrator Larry Post said declining revenues from fees to the district attorney’s office and the Registry of Deeds, coupled with a 3 percent increase in expenditures account for most of the increase.

Post said jail surplus money dating back to savings from 2008-09 when the jail was built ran out last year. Any new surplus money from the jail can no longer be used to reduce county taxes, according to state statute adopted in 2010, he said.

Post said county taxpayers will see some savings in the new budget because of the way shares for technical services are distributed. More of the IT share has shifted to county departments based on numbers of employees using the services and to the jail budget.

The jail budget is capped for county residents, meaning more of the cost will be picked up by the state and boarding fees from the federal government.

Following the public hearing Wednesday, the county Budget Committee will review and adopt the final budget for presentation to the five-member board of Somerset County Commissioners. The meeting will recess so commissioners can review the budget and bring it back to the Budget Committee for final action.

If commissioners agree with the spending package, the final budget is approved. If commissioners disagree, the budget goes back to the 10-member Budget Committee, where a two-thirds vote is needed to override the commissioners’ recommendations.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

 


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