Bostic acknowledged Gardner's concern, but said budgeting is different now than when he was first elected to the County Council in the late 1990s and revenue only came in twice a year.
Things are different now, he said. The county has resumed annual tax and commissioner sales to recoup delinquent property taxes, and county option income tax (COIT) funds arrive monthly.
That means county officials have more financial flexibility to address department needs as they come up during the year, Bostic said. "We now have revenue coming in all year. To me, that makes budgeting easier."
Freshman Councilwoman Lisa Phillips, R-at large, said she found the whole budget process hard, but "rewarding," and couldn't help thinking about the challenges facing Congress as it struggles with national budget priorities.
"I have a whole new respect for what Congress is trying to do right now," said the longtime county employee.
Like Bostic, Phillips said she's pleased county employees will receive a raise, but said the the council must continue to be a good steward of taxpayer money.
"Even though we're better off than we have been for years, we still don't have a lot of money," she said.
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What's Next The Madison County Council will introduce a budget resolution for fiscal 2014 at a meeting on Oct. 30. On the following day, Halloween, members will take a final vote on the spending plan. Under Indiana law, county officials must pass a budget by Nov. 1. After passage, the budget is sent to a state agency, the Department of Local Government Finance, for review and approval.