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Jackson County approves budget adjustments due to higher-than-anticipated revenues

With sales tax collections general revenues more than anticipated in Jackson County, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners voted to provide county employees with a 2 percent Cost of Living Adjustment to begin on December 21, 2020.

Jackson County Commissioners also voted to provide a one-time bonus for public school employees in the amount of a $500 bonus for certified and non-certified teachers. This allocation is in lieu of the 2 percent general increase. Adams also recommended that moving forward, the Jackson County Board of Education will develop a new teacher supplement program that incases these additional funds to be presented in the upcoming budget process.

The COLA was part of the commissioners mid-year budget meeting that showed Jackson County Manager Don Adams’ initial budgeted revenues of 2 percent less than the previous years was conservative, and revenues are actually greater than the previous year’s budget.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners will also increase funding to the Fontana Regional Library, with a two percent adjustment as well as a two percent adjustment increase to Southwestern Community College.

“I think this is a great opportunity for us to recognize the hardworking of not only our employees but other individuals like teachers and other staff members, said Jackson County Chairman Brian McMahan.

In addition to COLA that commissioners approved on Tuesday, the Jackson County Commissioners also voted to spend $413,483.65 to provide all county employees with hazard pay bonuses. Each Jackson County employee will receive a bonus for every month they have worked from March to December. Full-time employees will receive $100 for each month they have been employees with the county during that time, and part-time employees will receive a prorated amount. Employees will be eligible for up to $1,000. Jackson County has 387 full-time employees and 16 part-time employees.

The funding adjustments are due to an increase in sales tax collections. During the 2019-2020 fiscal year, Jackson County budgeted $9,441,062 and actually received $10,048,039, a six percent increase. To account for the uncertainties of the COVID19 pandemic, Jackson County budgeted $9,252,240 in sales tax revenue, a two percent decrease over the prior year. Currently, the first quarter sales taxes of July-September have averaged 16.76 percent above 2019-2020, which means Jackson County is currently trending 24.78 percent above the amount budgeted for the year.

In total, the budget adjustments will provide an additional $23,000 for the library, $41,000 for SCC, and $202,000 for county employees’ cost-of-living increases. The public schools will receive $359,000. The total six-month estimated cost could be covered by increasing budgeted sales tax revenues by 7 percent, and the total recurring annual expense of $825,000 could be covered with a 9 percent increase in sales tax over that budgeted this fiscal year.

The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the budget adjustments.

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