The budget serves as the annual financial plan for Jefferson County. It establishes what programs and services are to be funded, how monies are to be spent (expenditures), and what revenues are available to fund those services.
A government budget is not the same as a household budget. Within a household budget, most have the option to use funds in different ways. It does not work that way with a county budget. The majority of the county budget comes in from certain sources and must be used for specific purposes.
The General Fund, on which most of the recent focus has been, is only one of several funds that are included in the countywide budget. The General Fund makes up only about one-third of the entire county budget in terms of dollars but supports over 50 percent of county services. The consideration of millions in reductions in that fund is quite impactful.
The county presently operates out of 37 separate and distinct funds – again, most of which can be used only for specific purposes based on the sources of their funding. From a budget perspective, it’s best not to think of the county as one single entity – instead, you might think of it like a collection of 36 separate companies, each with different purposes and their own dedicated resources.
Regardless, each one must still work hand-in-hand with the others in order to achieve a balanced budget and the overall mission, vision, values, and goals as set forth by the Board of County Commissioners.