BROOKVILLE — The Jefferson County Commissioners have approved advertising the tentative 2023 budget with no tax increase for the county.

Veronica McNutt, director of finance, attended Tuesday’s meeting to provide further information on the budget and how it will be balanced.

The general fund budget has total revenues of $15,020,992 and total expenditures of $16,775,911 — leaving a deficit of $1,754,919.

“The 2023 proposed budget deficit is anticipated to be paid from the restricted fund balance, so the budget is being presented with no tax increase,” McNutt said.

Commissioner Jeff Pisarcik said most of the restricted fund balance is from COVID-19 money.

“So we’ve set a lot of that aside to pay for shortcomings for the next couple of years,” Pisarcik said.

“Just to add to that, those were lost revenues, so that’s what those funds were for,” Commissioner Scott North said.

Whether or not this uses all of the remaining COVID monies is dependent on what “refinements” get made to the budget in the next month, according to North. He also added “…but what we have is a solid plan that keeps the taxes where they are, we’re not anticipating a tax increase.”

The current real estate tax is 12.5 mills in the county. The total budget for all funds has total revenues of $30,080,296 and total expenditures of $32,549,395.

“We will continue to work on the budget after the Thanksgiving holidays up through the adoption date of Dec. 20,” McNutt said.

Commissioners also noted Jefferson County offices will be closed Thursday and Friday in observance of Thanksgiving.

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Military Share Program

The second Military Share Program food distribution is coming up soon, with the next one planned for Thursday, Dec. 1 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

The distribution will be a drive-thru format like the first one. This is a free program through the Jefferson County Veterans Affairs Office and Second Harvest Food Bank. The Military Share Program delivers fresh, nutritious foods to individuals and families who are in need and meet income requirements with at least one member who has served or is serving in the Armed Forces or National Guard.

“It was a huge success the first time and I think we look forward to seeing that again. It was very well orchestrated,” said Commissioner Herb Bullers.

North also said there were a lot of kind words and appreciation from those who need the program.

Military hunting licenses

The Jefferson County Treasurer’s Office is once again offering special hours during the holiday weekend for military hunting and military doe licenses. The office will be open Friday, Nov. 25 from 2 to 4 p.m.

“We have had a tremendous response with this practice over the years. This is the 17th year in which we have opened the Treasurer’s Office on this day to help our local veterans,” said Treasurer James “Moon” VanSteenberg.

To make the process quicker, VanSteenberg asks the public to bring their leave papers, military ID, or LES statement with them to the office.

“Even if you are not eligible for a full military hunting license at the reduced rate, we can still issue you your military doe license,” VanSteenberg said.

If someone can’t make these hours, VanSteenberg is willing to set up a time that works with them to issue their license. He can be reached at 814-856-2489 or 814-715-1746.

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