Dougherty County finances strong heading into 4th quarter

Revenues for the county are trending above the curve, while expenditures remain below, officials say.

— The Dougherty County government is "right where (it) needs to be" according to a report given to the county's finance subcomittee Monday morning.

With three quarters of the fiscal year now over, the county's revenues are trending at 81 percent and its expenditures are down to roughly 71 percent, Finance Committee Chairman Lamar Hudgins said.

"We're low where we need to be and high where we need to be," Hudgins said. "We feel like we are in a pretty good spot, we're spending less than we expected and our revenues are higher than we thought, so that's a good place to be."

That being said, the county is still budgeting a $1.9 million deficit — a number Hudgins expects to be cut in half by the time the books are closed when the fiscal year ends June 30.

"We budgeted $1.9 million but we hope to be about half that. Generally speaking, if we go the way we typically track, we'll use maybe half of that," Hudgins said.

Whatever the gap between revenues and expenditures, it will be bridged using the general fund's "fund balance," which is often referred to as its reserve fund.

According to numbers presented by County Administrator Richard Crowdis Monday, the county has collected $37.8 million of its $45.9 million general fund budget or 82 percent.

Local property and sales taxes make up the majority of that figure — $29 million — 88 percent of which have already been collected for the year.

Conversely, spending is tracking behind the 75 percent curve, with $33 million of the $45.9 million budget — or 71 percent — spent so far this year.

The largest chunk of the county's expenditures go to the Dougherty County Jail, which is anticipated to eat up $13.2 million of the total budget. It currently has spent 71 percent of it's budget, or $9.3 million.

Ironically, the jail has also contributed nearly $1.5 million to the county coffers in the form of revenues generated by commissary sales and fees charged to the city, state and federal government for holding their prisoners.

In the coming weeks, Crowdis and his staff will put together a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that starts July 1.