Crawford County may be short up to $196,000 come the end of the year.
During a Crawford County Budget Committee meeting Monday night, County Treasurer Beverly Pyle told justices of the peace that the county is looking at a possible shortfall if some areas of revenue do not pay in.
Several justices of the peace noticed at the beginning of the meeting that the unappropriated amount in the county’s public safety fund had a huge increase in the last few months - from about $150 to $57,150.33.
When asked about the increase, JP Mary Blount, head of the budget committee, said the number had been adjusted to reflect an increase in collections of the 1-cent countywide sales tax.
But no increase was reflected in the county general fund, causing some JPs to wonder why.
"Excuse me if this is an ignorant question, but if public safety is up, shouldn’t they all be up?" JP Shane Griffin asked Pyle.
Pyle admitted sales tax collections for county general are up as well, but are not enough to counter a massive gap in anticipated revenue.
"I don’t dare adjust it; I won’t," Pyle said of the county general fund total.
About $100,000 more was collected in sales tax than expected so far this year, and while 40 percent goes to public safety, only about 15 percent is funneled into county general, Pyle said. That would mean an increase of about $15,000, but Pyle said she will not adjust the fund to reflect the money until the revenue gap is closed.
"We always have areas we don’t reach and others we’re hoping to exceed, and that’s why I don’t adjust the county general," Pyle said after the meeting. "I’m still hoping for revenue that’s not here yet."
Crawford County is still waiting on the final settlement from area cities and school districts, reimbursement from the state for juvenile services, and several other sources of revenue, she said.
"It isn’t one big amount; it’s $20,000 here and $20,000 there," Pyle said.
While Pyle’s not sure the county will be able to close the revenue gap by the end of the year, she does not expect it to be as much as $196,000, she said. Pyle could not estimate how short the county might be.
"There’s a possibility we won’t reach the target, but I don’t think it would be that much," Pyle said.
Any shortfall certainly would affect the 2015 budget, which JPs currently are hashing out. A fourth and possibly final 2015 budget meeting is set for Thursday.