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County breaks down its budget

September 5, 2012
By Jason Raiche - staff writer ( , Daily Press

ESCANABA - Residents of Delta County had a chance to hear exactly how funds are allocated to the various county departments during a public hearing on the 2012-13 budget Tuesday night.

Delta County Administrator Nora Viau noted revenue from property taxes accounts for the biggest bulk of the county's general fund.

"Property tax consists of 60 percent of the general fund budget and the other 40 percent is all other revenues, which is state and federal funding," she explained.

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Viau highlighted a graph showing the county's history of property tax revenue since 2001.

"In 2001, it was $3.8 million and our projected (amount) for 2013 is $5.5 million," she said. The actual projected 2012-13 property tax revenue is $5,550,469 - down slightly from the 2011-12 amount of $5,563,149. The highest revenue from property taxes in recent years was approximately $6.1 million in 2009. Viau also highlighted some other pie chart data demonstrating how funding is allocated throughout the county.

Of all the general fund expenses, 30 percent goes toward funding public safety, 26 percent to appropriations (such as the airport, health department, and Pathways Community Mental Health, to name a few), 23 percent to the courts, 9 percent to appointed departments, 7 percent to elected departments, and all others totaling 5 percent.

Fifty-nine percent of the public safety budget goes toward the sheriff's department, 19 percent to the prosecutor's office, and 16 percent to sheriff's administration, with the remaining 6 percent split among sheriff's marine, emergency management, sheriff's work detail, and the medical examiner.

Within the elected official portion of the budget, the county clerk's office accounts for 27 percent of funding, the treasury department 26 percent, board of commissioners 21 percent, register of deeds 13 percent, elections 13 percent, and the drain commissioner with a small amount that totaled 0 percent on the graph, said Viau.

Forty-five percent of the appointed department budget goes toward administration, 40 percent to building maintenance, 7 percent to the Michigan State University Extension Office, 6 percent to appropriations and 2 percent to veterans affairs.

Within the court budget, 32 percent of the budget goes toward district court, 28 percent to friend of the court, 16 percent to circuit court, 16 percent to probate court, 8 percent toward probate court juvenile expenses, with the remaining small percentage toward grand jury commission.

The county's 2012-13 fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Additional information presented at the public hearing will be available on the county's website by visiting, said Viau.

In other business, the board:

approved sending a letter of support to the Michigan Committee on Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation related to four pieces of legislation on ORV and ATV use: House Bills 5612-5615.

approved moving forward in the process of providing the Delta County Historical Society a space to house their archive materials during construction of a new building. The board has proposed allowing the society to use some space in the Service Center where the Department of Human Services was previously housed prior to its move to the State Office Building. The historical society's new archives building is expected to be completed by June.



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