The Starke County Council this week performed the non-binding review of other taxing units’ 2014 budgets throughout the county, and according to Council President Dave Pearman, the proposed budgets mostly seemed to follow a trend of proposing increases in their budgets that exceed the state’s annual growth rate.
“As you know, we spend a lot of time working on our budget, trying to fit within the calculated annual growth rate, which for the state, was 2.6 percent, it was actually 3.6 for Starke County. But the expectation from the state is that, that rate would be at a 2.6 percent growth quotient. Several of the non-binding reviews had spoken to the fact that many of those budgets were over the calculated annual growth rate,” said Pearman.
Pearman said the state wants the counties to focus on recommendations for non-binding reviews that focus on responsibility with the levy and a suitable budget that meets the state guidelines. Several budgets were reviewed, including the budgets for the North Judson and Knox libraries; California, Center, Davis, Jackson, North Bend, Oregon, Railroad, Washington and Wayne townships; Hamlet, North Judson, and Knox municipal budgets; and budgets for the North Judson, Knox, and Oregon-Davis school corporations, as well as the Bass Lake Conservancy District and Starke County Airport.
Pearman said from here, the budgets will go to the state, where they will be reviewed and modified appropriately.
“The next step now, the state will take our recommendations. Again, since they are non-binding, they will take a look at them, but basically what the state will do is they will take those numbers and they will adjust them down somewhere in that neighborhood of that calculated growth rate,” Pearman explained.