On. Dec. 11, Franklin County commissioners approved the 2019 budget, which includes a 1.5-mill tax increase.
That means Franklin County homeowners with a property assessed at $100,000 will pay an additional $18.45 in taxes.
According to officials, the mill rate increase is a result of a planned increase in debt service for the $67.8 million Court Facility Improvement Project.
The general fund's $47.3 million revenue projection falls short of $50.4 million in expenditures and the money to balance the budget will come from reserves.
"We're trying as best we can to otherwise work within our means to provide the best services possible," said Commissioner David Keller.
According to county officials, the largest projected budget increases next year are in the children and youth and mental health areas.
"Human services continue to be a priority," Keller said, noting veterans' concerns, mental health care and the opioid crisis as key issues, as well as public safety. "While we're focused on the court facilities project, we can't take our eye off the ball regarding other aspects of public safety."
County officials said for every general fund tax dollar spent, 77 cents goes to crime/courts/corrections; 8 cents goes to community and taxpayer services; 6 cents goes to financial and administrative services; 5 cents goes to emergency services; 3 cents to human services; and a penny to "other."
The budget also includes a contingency account to be used for funding new projects or additional personnel. The 2019 contingency amounts to 2.1 percent of the expenditure budget and totals $1.1 million.
"I would describe this budget as 'fiscally responsible,'" said Commissioner Robert Ziobrowski.