2022 budget process at the County level to begin soon

From the Gazzette Newspapers…

Hello, Ashtabula County! This week I wanted to take a moment to speak about some important work that is well underway at the Commissioners’ Office.

In the coming weeks, the Board of Commissioners will begin the work of meeting with county officials and departments, such as the Sheriff’s Department, Prosecutor, Common Pleas Court, and Auditor, to name just a few and hear their budget requests for the 2022 fiscal year.
Each of the budget work sessions gives county officials and department heads an opportunity to present their case to the Board of Commissioners when asking for funding allocations in 2022. This year will be unique since we have several new office holders that will be presenting their first full budget request under their tenure. For the 2021 allocations, those requests primarily came from their predecessors when presented in 2020. We plan to take each budget work session seriously and offer up many questions about their requests and how they plan to allocate funds in their respective departments.

In addition to the Commissioners spending time working through the budget requests and asking questions, we will also have Ashtabula County residents serving again as members of the County Budget Advisory Committee. They participate in all of the work sessions just as the commissioners do and have the ability to ask questions of the departments. We are very appreciative of having residents serving in this capacity as it is an opportunity for them to ask questions from a new and different perspective.
While the budget hearings are set to begin shortly, that is only the first step of many. Following the presentations, the commissioners will be spending time working with all of the departments on their requests and determining funding allocations for the full 2022 budget year. In December, the Board will pass a temporary budget to fund operations for the first quarter of 2022, and a final general revenue fund budget for the full year will be passed in March of 2022.

Ashtabula County operates under an approximate $23-$24 million general revenue fund budget, of which the primary sources of revenue include: sales tax, real-estate tax, casino revenue, grant funding, and fees and charges. We remain very vigilant of the requests from all departments but also recognize that the revenue generated is the total amount of funds that we have to work with when allocating funding requests.
In 2022, we also remain cognizant of how the state operating budget will impact the county. The state biennium budget is passed every two years, and it most certainly will have an impact on our operations at the local level from a funding perspective. We remain committed to lobbying for initiatives and funding that will benefit our county at the Statehouse.

I look forward to continuing to serve you and remain a good steward of your tax dollars. As always, if you have thoughts or ideas, please don’t hesitate to share those with me. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts on the issues. I can be reached in Jefferson at 440-576-3750. Thank you.