I have shared my thoughts about our budget with everyone and in my mind its very straight forward. Phil projected county deficits for the next few years which should scare all of our elected officials and all department heads in the county. The public deserves to know what will happen in the next four years if everyone doesn't come up with ways to make their department run more efficiently.

Look at the numbers in yellow and red. As you can see, we deplete our savings and the resources available to us decrease as well. Sadly, the only two areas we see an increase in is in spending and the deficits we create. In the next four years the county will have to impose a $6.6 million tax increase in order to operate as it does now. And in 2024 the county will have an almost $10 million deficit unless, by some miracle the county valuations increase during that time.

One mill raises $389,000. To put some perspective to the serious revenue problems the county is facing in order to pay for the County's overspending in the next four years we have to increase the mill levy by just under 17 mills just to pay the bills. That's an almost 43% increase in four years. Or a 10% increase per year.

As I've said before the county's level of spending is UNSUSTAINABLE. While I do appreciate the fact that everyone is trying to find ways of generating revenue and finding small ways to cut spending, unfortunately what has been done to date is superficial and mostly symbolic, It just doesn't attack the core problem — overspending.

Barb Wasinger

Ellis County Commissioner