There were two parts of the meeting that dealt with finances, a discussion on our ongoing finances and on how we’re developing our budget.
The general state of our ongoing finances is following the same themes as recent months. Private timberland harvest is down to almost nothing, but state land harvest is up significantly, but not enough to make up the difference. Property taxes are making up 91 percent of our income right now and if you remove the annexation of Shelton from the equation, that income is flat.
On the development of next year’s budget, we learned that we’re likely to see a flat year next year as well, which is actually good news, because it means our situation is not going negative. I was afraid that we might have to start dipping into our reserves as early as next year to maintain our current budget, bringing us closer to the need to go back for a levy lid lift.
I also mentioned that I would like to see us development a low-cost, online public input mechanism (like the ones I discussed here) to help us develop our budget.