County still in budget trouble.
Hamilton County is still smarting from the pain of trimming $35 million from its 2008 budget in the form of layoffs, salary freezes and cutting of programs.
Yet it’s already preparing itself for another punch in the gut. The county's budget office Monday projected a $12.1 million gap in the 2009 budget based on revenue estimates to date.
The good news: the county is planning to give 2.5 percent raises for non-union staff. But if new money isn’t found other things will have to go come December. A more detailed analysis is expected in May.
Among the problems:
-Inflation: is expected to be 2.5 percent.
-Property tax: any increases from the auditor’s office assessment of property values this year will be offset by other property value decreases. No property tax growth is expected until 2012.
-Sales tax: is projected at a 1.5 percent growth rate.
-Interest Earnings: are projected to drop to $16.9 million in 2009 due to short-term investment performance.
- State reimbursements for the Public Defender and Local Government Fund: are expected to remain flat.