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ANDERSON — Spring property tax collections for the operation of Madison County government are expected to be down by $600,000.

Rick Gardner, Madison County auditor, said last week the general fund operating balance was at $1.3 million and there was $900,000 in the public safety fund.

He outlined to the Madison County Council the timeline for establishing a county budget for 2021.

The various county departments and offices have to submit their budget proposals to the auditor’s office by July 1.

The County Council will review budgets on Aug. 11, conduct a public hearing on Aug. 27. Final adoption is expected on Sept. 8.

Gardner said last year the county received approximately $11 million in the spring tax distribution; this year’s estimate is $10.4 million.

He said there was a distribution of property tax revenues to local units of government on June 10 and a second will take place by July 10.

“We’re dealing with reduced revenues,” Gardner said.

He said the gaming tax revenue received by the county is down $100,000. No revenues were generated at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino while it was closed in April and May because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Those revenues could be down by $500,000,” he said.

Gardner said court fees are down by 35% and interest on county investments is down 80%.

There is concern about some county offices and departments that use discretionary funds to pay salaries are being affected by the pandemic.

“There is no money to transfer from the general fund,” the auditor said.

The spring property tax collection through June 9 for the year was at $65.3 million as compared to $67.3 million in 2019.

Those funds are distributed to all local governmental entities in June and December.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.

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