LINCOLN–(KFOR/News Release Sept. 5)–The fiscal year budget for 2023-24 was approved Tuesday by members of the Lancaster County Board, which includes a reduced tax levy of nearly 3.85 centers despite a 4% increase in property tax.
The budget also includes about $37-million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding. Lancaster County’s three largest internal agency budgets are County Engineer ($37,569,682), Corrections ($36,058,572), and County Sheriff ($18,225,612).
The County Board adopted a fiscally prudent budget that also ensures significant investments in our community’s well-being:
- Commitment to investment in infrastructure reflected in the Lancaster County Engineer’s budget (General Fund, Bridge & Road Fund, and Highway Fund) being increased by $5 million, including $1.8 million from Keno funds and an additional $1 million from the General Fund.
- Strategic vision by bolstering sinking fund balances, including allocation of new revenue streams from the Gaming Tax, that will allow the County to obtain $90M in federal funding for generational infrastructure projects and to complete vital upgrades to public safety computer systems.
- Responsible governance by increasing the Cash Reserve Fund by $ 2.15 million, ensuring continuity of government operations during months of limited property tax collections.
- Criminal justice reform by adding a new Jail Administrator position to develop and oversee reentry programs and services with an emphasis on reducing tendencies of reoffending.
County Board Chair Christa Yoakum stated, “This budget represents a culmination of thoughtful and forward-looking decision making on behalf of the Board, department heads, and elected officials, with an end goal of harmonizing competing interests and ensuring the community’s awareness of how a portion of its property tax dollars are spent. The transparency of the County’s budget process starts with a public mid-year budget hearing in February and continues through a public hearing on the proposed budget in late August, during which all budget information is easily accessible on our Financial Transparency Portal.”