MOUNT VERNON — The 2012 budget for Knox County is one that simply maintains the status quo, with no dramatic cuts or increases.
“I haven’t worked that hard on a budget for several years,” said Allen Stockberger, president of the commissioners.
He said it would be fair to describe the budget as maintaining the status quo.
“We were fortunate that sales tax revenue is up. With the cut in local government funding, we would have had to make some serious cuts if the tax revenue wasn’t up,” Stockberger said.
One of the largest increases the budget had to take into account was the increase in health insurance costs, which has been estimated at $150,000.
The commissioners also made an effort to maintain funding for the 4-H program, which has been hurt in many counties by state budget cuts.
“We wanted to make sure 4-H was not affected,” said Commissioner Teresa Bemiller. “It was a priority for us.”
However, the overall extension program has been squeezed in the tight budgets of recent years and Stockberger said thought will have to be given to moving the Extension office, but that won’t come until 2013, Stockberger said.
Having the extension service in the same building with other agencies related to agriculture is a convenience, but the county has to pay a share of the rent on the building.
The total General Fund budget for 2012 is $12,939,145.49. That compares to a total spent in 2011 of $12,369,574.37 and a total spent of $12,143,955.89 in 2010.
The largest piece of the budget goes to the sheriff’s department and includes $2,071,900 for the office division, $2,228,100 for the jail division and $13,725 for prisoner transport.