3 August 2000

Riley County Spending To Go Up In 2001

By Jon A. Brake

Kids working for Daily Newspapers love to tell readers all about tax levy. "If you own a $100,000 home ..."
you've seen it many times. Doesn't mean a thing. The only important thing about a budget is the bottom line.

Last Friday the Mercury even got the bottom line wrong. The Riley County Budget for 2001 is not $9.6 million, it
is $25.4 million. And if you know anything about budgets that is up from the $28.8 million in 2000.

Now, how can a $25.4 million Budget be up? The citizens of Riley County voted four years ago to build a new
Riley County Law Enforcement Center (Jail). For the County to spend the $15.8 million, they had to put it in the
budget. $11.4 was paid-out in 1999 and $4.4 is to be paid-out this year.

Look at the Budget Summary to the right. The 1999 Budget was $32.3 million, less $11.4 for the LEC or the
County spent $20.9 million. The 2000 Budget was $28.8 less $4.4 or the County will spend $24.4. The 2001
Budget will not have LEC money. The County Commission will pass a $25.4 million Budget, $1 million more than
this year.

The tax levy doesn't mean anything because the value of Riley County property is higher each year. They take in
more money each year without passing a higher levy.

When you read the County has cut a half million or a million from the budget, it is not true. The Commissioners
will cut from what the department heads have requested, not from the Budget.

How else did the Riley County Budget go from $12 million in 1991 to $25 million in 2001?