Revenue Commissioner Sally Flowers opened the meeting with a list of proposed budget items requested for the upcoming year to be considered by the commission.
Flowers sought a $2,500 increase for minor computer equipment purposes to purchase laser-jet printers required to print the new version of car tag forms.
“These printers will not be top-of-the-line,” Flowers said.
The second request offered up by Flowers involved securing an almost $4,000 increase to the office supply budget for purchasing new office chairs.
After some discussion by the commission suggesting the office chairs would fall under office furniture purchases and not office supplies, accounting staff member Cynthia Harkness said categorizing that budget item correctly would be a quick fix.
Flowers also requested salary adjustments for revenue office employees and a $20,000 increase to the revenue office’s postage budget, a 25-percent increase over the allocated figure from the fiscal year 2013 needed for mailing out vehicle tag notices.
District 4 Commissioner Jimmy Roberson suggested a budget amendment be discussed at the next commission meeting in order to cover the postage cost so the tag notices can be mailed on time.
“I think the general consensus of the commission was to amend our fiscal year 2013 budget to cover the postage cost,” Roberson said. “We felt like we needed to go ahead and amend our budget so we’d have realistic figures for the revenue office in the fiscal year 2014 budget. We’ve spoken to (Flowers) and informed her to prepare those notices. The cost to mail those out will be roughly $18,000-$20,000.”
The commission acknowledged the other requests made by Flowers, but did not render a decision. The requests remain under consideration along with previous requests made by other agencies in the first budget work session held Aug. 26.
During the three-hour meeting, budget talks appeared to stall as the commission opted to take a “wait-and-see” approach regarding projected revenues for 2014.
“For the past two years, we’ve followed the trend of instead of basing expenditures around our projections, we want to make sure those projections become a reality,” Roberson said. “Some of the requests that need to be approved can be delayed until the ad valorem revenues are collected by the end of December.”
According to County Administrator Wayne Hall, the commission directed each department head present to return to the Sept. 26 budget work session with a level budget based on funding necessary to maintain the current level of operation. Any additional items requested must be presented on a separate worksheet with justifications.
By law, the commission must approve a fiscal year 2014 budget by Oct. 1.