The Geary County Commission is gearing up to publish the county’s 2020 budget.

Commissioners said Monday they plan to make a decision to publish the budget during its next meeting on Aug. 5.

On Monday, Schmidt presented a $40.7 million budget that includes a property tax rate of 70.352 mills. A mill is $1 in tax for every $1,000 in assessed, taxable property value.

This is slightly below the 2019 property tax rate of 70.47 mills.

For a property owner with a $100,000 home

Public accountant Kay Schmidt said she will have two options for the commission to consider based on its direction.

One of the options would factor in adjustments to the employee benefit fund and general fund that commissioners requested, which would lead to an increase from the property tax rate presented Monday.

A particular concern for the commission going into next Monday’s session is cutting ATA Bus $50,000 below its 2019 budget.

They said other entities weren’t taken below their 2019 levels.

Officials said the actual amount isn’t clear, but it would be less than the second option, which will be 71 mills.

The commission has to make its decision next Monday to get through the budget process. According to state statute, the budget has to get published in a newspaper, The Union in this instance, for at least 10 days before a hearing could take place.

Once the budget is published, the commission can’t increase the total amount, but it could still lower the budget.

If the commission approves budget publication next Monday, the public hearing would take place on Aug. 19, and the commission would make a final decision on the budget on Aug. 26.

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