JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. - Jackson County leaders passed the county's 2017 fiscal year budget Monday afternoon. It contains roughly the same amount of money as last year's, but it is also coming with a $425,000 deficit. They are currently discussing taking 5% of sales tax from education to make up for the shortcomings.
"Right now we technically have a deficit budget. We hope that the end of the year we will either take that portion from education if that's what we come to an agreement with," said Matthew Hodges, the county commission chairman. "And again, that's sharing in the growth, that's not actually taking those dollars. That's sharing in the growth of education."
As of right now, commissioners are having discussions with the school boards and legislation delegation. They're trying to find alternate sources of revenue before they decide to use the 5% from education.
"In order to fix it we wither raise property taxes or get a portion of the sales tax I think truly is going to be the only fix that we are going to have if we want to see our community grown," commented Hodges.
The Jackson County Commission is working hard to not only feed the deficit and make up for the shortcomings, but also make the Jackson County economy a competitive and thriving one.
"Something has to be done ultimately if we're getting back to a place where we're doing business like we should be and investing in an industry, investing in our community like we need to be," explained Hodges.