Just in time for Christmas, the Commission-proposed 2014 Platte County budget was released Dec. 23, with some revisions from the Auditor’s budget released last month. A public hearing for the budget is proposed at 10 a.m. Jan. 6 at the regularly scheduled County Commission meeting. The total operational expense budget in the Commission-proposed budget is $59,813,385, down from the $61 million proposed by Auditor Kevin Robinson. The document, which is available on the County website at co.platte.mo.us, includes the 2013 Commission-amended budget, the 2013 year-end forecasts, 2014 Departmental-requested budgets, the 2014 Auditor’s recommended budget and the new 2014 Commission-proposed budget. Last month, the 2013 budget was projected to end the year at about $82.4 million but now appears to be at about $77.9 million, with general fund and capital projects expenses both down from projections. Notable in the new document is a breakdown of the County’s one-half cent Transportation Sales Tax, which was renewed by voters in April 2013. “Following the renewal, the Director of Public Works, Commissioners, and representatives of the various entities receiving a portion of the tax revenue began working on new distribution agreements,” stated Auditor Kevin Robinson in his report. “At the time the Auditor’s recommended budget was released, draft agreements were ready for review. Approval by all entities and then approval in session by the Commission is estimated to take several more months.” As this process is ongoing, several conditions were included in the Commission-proposed budget, which reflects no Roads Sales Tax revenues in any of the Roads Sales Tax funds, except for those which have related TIF expenditures; funds which participated in the 2003 series reflects expenditure disbursements equal to the cash carryover, as this amount reflects receipts related to the expired sales tax; and those funds with TIF expenditures reflect those projected expenditures, which are offset by tax revenue. Also, distributions from the 2003 tax shall continue as agreed upon, with the majority of funds collected as of October. Those funds shall be receipted into the appropriate accounts and upon project completion will be distributed to the appropriate entities. Annual and delinquent collections from the old tax are anticipated in 2014. Receipts from the 2013 tax shall be held in a liability account until all agreements are finalized and approved by the County Commission. Once the agreements are finalized, a budget amendment including the inter-fund transfers will be presented to the Commission for revision. The 2015 principal and interest payment for the County’s new federally-mandated narrow-band radio system is also included in the 2014 budget, as the actual payment is anticipated at the end of the year. Robinson said this approach prevents the possibility of a late payment if the County budget is adopted late next year, as is permissible by statute after the scheduled election for the Presiding Commissioner’s seat in November 2014. Also, though Robinson projected a one-percent increase in sales tax revenues in 2014, the Commission’s projections leave tax revenue numbers at 2013 levels.