At a budget workshop last week, the Polk County Board of County Commissioners learned that — despite the expected financial impacts the pandemic could have on the county's coffers — the county's fiscal footing remains sound, according to Polk Budget Director Todd Bond.
“I think, in general, we're okay,” Bond said. “That's because of good, sound financial strategies and reserves.”
Bond also said he didn't presently see any need for major reductions in the county's budget for next year.
The county budget director estimated that the budget would be about $1.7 billion, but that there could be changes as further information about the effects of the pandemic becomes clear.
“The good news is that we can balance it out,” Bond said, indicating that any shortfalls could be picked up by reserves.
Also, Bond told the board, taxpayers could see a drop in ad valorem taxes on their tax bills — but the proposed increase in fire rescue fees would offset a lower millage rate. Presently, property taxes are set at $7.10 per $1,000 in assessed value. The fire fees are expected to go up from this year's $200 per household to $230.
The county budget should be finalized this summer, well before the fiscal year ends in September.