The proposed 2023 Douglas County budget is $166.3 million with a mill levy of 47.419 mills, which is a flat rate from last year. One mill is one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value.
Approximately 78% of Douglas County’s revenues are from ad valorem taxes and 11% are from sales taxes in the general fund, the largest and most general purpose of the County’s budgeted funds. Total assessed valuation for real estate and personal property increased 12.44% in 2022 compared to 2.75% the year before. During the past two years, the assessed valuation growth rate has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic stimulus, leading to fluctuation in the normal rate of growth seen in Douglas County. From 2018 to 2020, the average increase in assessed valuation was 5.09% percent. When the past two years of 2021 and 2022 are included for a five-year average, the rate of growth is 6.09%.
Sales tax revenues have increased over the past several years, which has led to an increased budget of $8 million in the general fund and $5.3 million in the behavioral health sales tax fund.
The proposed budget provides for price increases in existing services and commodities, including increased expenses for road and bridge materials, utilities and fuel. The proposed budget maintains funding for behavioral health projects countywide with $2.4 million of general fund support in addition to the behavioral health sales tax funding of $5.3 million. This consistent funding level from 2022 provides for an additional $69,799 in substance abuse treatment, outpatient services, case management and peer support for the uninsured, bringing total county support to $433,021. Also included is an expansion of the Intensive Care Coordination team with Heartland Regional Alcohol and Drug Assessment Center and two beds for youths who are in crisis that will be coordinated by DCCCA.
The 2023 proposed budget does not eliminate any current county services or $16.4 million in base funding for nonprofit organizations that provide behavioral health, historical, conservation and economic development services in Douglas County. Many of these nonprofits serve at-risk populations and provide a vital safety net for community members.
Douglas County Commissioners will review the proposed budget, which is available online at dgcoks.org/budget. They also will consider nearly 50 funding requests totaling $3.8 million from Douglas County departments and community partners that are not included in the proposed budget.
The budget hearings will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, with an overview from staff. The hearings are scheduled to be held from 9 a.m. to noon July 5-7 and the public can attend in person or by using Zoom. Commissioners will begin budget deliberations at 9 a.m. Friday, July 8, or Monday, July 11. Meeting information is available on the county’s website at dgcoks.org/commissionmeetings, where recordings of the hearings and deliberations also will be provided.
The budget will be adopted during a public hearing in August that will be held during a County Commission business meeting.