KC Budget Data

I cut my salaryFB link smallerGreater transparency and accountability to citizens is a very important part of Bob Bingham’s PACT with voters.

Besides fighting excessive and obnoxious regulations and fees being forced upon property owners over the last several years, Bob has dedicated a significant amount of his time to analyzing and comparing various aspects of Kootenai County budgets and the resulting tax burden upon property owners.  In several instances reviews of other taxing districts have also been undertaken.

The charts below are just a small sampling of the budget reviews Bob Bingham has made on behalf of taxpayers.Read more

The current KC Assessor is Mike McDowell.  The assessors budget has paced inflation nearly exactly and for the last 6 years remained under an inflation adjusted budget revealing solid fiscal responsibility. (in this respect)  Mike and his staff received an award last year (from NWPOA.ORG) for sound fiscal management.  This chart provides a great visual of why the assessors department may have received that award. Mike has been in office for 13 years.

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The current KC Treasurer is Steve Matheson.  The Treasurers budget while slightly bumpy, also looks pretty good.  Steve has been in office just over 1 year, FY 2016 is Steve’s first budget.

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The BOCC is made up of 3 commissioners, currently Dan Green, Marc Eberlein, and David Stewart.   The BOCC budget comparison is slightly more choppy than the other two charts above, but below the inflation adjusted budget for the last 3 years.  Marc and David have been in office just over one year, the FY 2016 budget is their first year budget, Dan has been in office for just over 5 years.

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The current KC Coroner is Warren Keene. While the chart shows a budget always above an inflation adjusted budget, the small value of the coroners budget can be easily impacted by the work load in any year.  Warren has been at the helm just over one year, the 2016 budget is the first budget by Warren and it continues on a downward trend.

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The current KC Clerk is Jim Brannon.  The chart reveals a budget that generally tracked with an inflation adjusted budget, but in the last 3 years has outpaced inflation adjustments.  Jim has been at the helm for 3 years.

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The current Prosecuting Attorney is Barry McHugh. The chart reveals a budget that very significantly outpaced an inflation adjusted budget over the last 7 years.  Barry has been at the helm for 7 years. (note, the PA budget while rising, was lower on a $ p/citizen value than Ada and Canyon counties, possibly indicating it was too low to start with)

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The current Sheriff is Ben Wolfinger. The chart reveals a budget that very significantly outpaced an inflation adjusted budget over the last 8 years.  Ben has been at the helm for 3+ years.

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donate USPS online button small 2Magnitude of Budget Changes Over The Last 10 Years

The table below is the data basis for the charts above and by looking at the two far right columns, voters can obtain an understanding of the overall increases in percent and total dollars. While the coroner’s office has risen 32% over 10 years, that equates to a paltry $76,329 compared to the 66% rise in the sheriff’s office which equates to over $10.5 million dollars.  Again, viewers should understand, there may be justifications for what appears to be excessive spending, but gathering data helps us determine where we might begin looking.

10 yrs KC budget

Contact and donation information here

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There may be county officials stating that the numbers do not match what they have and some of the charts and results are wrong as a result.  That is likely true, Bob has already addressed this confusion with the clerks office. Read more

County to County Comparisons

Over the last several years, Bob has made several appearances at budget adoption hearings bringing up the fact that on a p/person basis, Kootenai County spends significantly more per person than Ada or Canyon Counties. (The 3 largest counties in Idaho are Ada, Canyon, and Kootenai)  P/person or per capita is a common way to make comparisons between cities, states and counties.  Read more

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Inflation Based Comparisons are not Reflective for Budget Review? 

Some county officials may say that inflation has nothing to do with the budget process as defined under Idaho Code.  They are correct, but because inflation affects taxpayers it is worth considering how government spending paces or out paces inflation helps taxpayers know the why of why they have less money when government keeps growing.  Read more

TAXING DISTRICTS

The county budget matters because it affects our property tax bill and the rent citizens pay.   The Kootenai county budget is just one of 46 (KC CAFR report) taxing districts that Read more

FYI, if you live in a incorporated city, you pay the county tax, plus the city tax, but both rural and city folks will also be paying separate taxes for other things like a library, school, EMS, fire, highway district, etc.  Your tax bill or rent payment is affected by at least 6 or up to a dozen or more of these taxing districts.  Many homeowners are paying $200 to $400 or more p/month in property taxes so its worth reviewing.  Its your money!

URD $ 4 partsAll rural and city property owners pay higher taxes because of city based Urban Renewal Districts, which redirect tax dollars into these URD improvement areas.  If you run into an elected official that says you do not, please ask him or her if he/she is willing to join in a public debate with Bob.  If you get a yes, contact Bob so we can get it set up. Bob spent several hours with the county clerk and the county assessor who helped Bob understand that indeed all property owners EVERYWHERE in the county pay higher taxes due to city based URD’s.

Taxing district budgets certainly affect our property taxes and there are various influences that can reduce them or make them go up.  The dollars we pay for property taxes are dollars we do not get to spend for something else. Property taxes are a powerful force, you pay or you lose your home.

 

Bob is aware that the more information he provides about government activity, the more forces will be against electing him.  But remember, getting elected is secondary to the primary mission of getting the information out there.  Bob does not work for government, he works for citizens.

 

There will be more coming in the next few months, so check back.donate USPS online button small 2

If you found this information interesting or found what appears to be an error, please let Bob know by sending him an email.