County commissioners hold final budget hearing, approve 2023 county budget

Ozark County commissioners held their final budget hearing Monday for the 2023 county budget, and commissioners voted to approve the budget.

County officials have been working on budget matters since the beginning of the year. The final budget numbers were not available as the Times went to press Tuesday. Look for a complete budget story in next week’s Ozark County Times.

County Clerk Brian Wise told commissioners everything looked OK on the budget.

“This is just a technicality,” Wise told commissioners as they voted to approve the budget. “There are no red flags or anything.”

Wise said the additional funding for the sheriff’s department from the recent windfall from the Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund really helped give the sheriff’s department a boost with their budget this year.

“We applied for and have received money from the Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund,” Wise said, adding that the money is federal relief money similar to American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

LATCF, according to the U.S. Treasury Department, is a program that provides relief to tribal governments and “revenue sharing counties” which Ozark County qualifies as due to the federal lands in the county.

Wise said the county is receiving $234,963 from LATCF, $150,000 of which will be used to prop up the sheriff’s department this year. The county will receive a similar payment from LATCF in the next budget year.

The county will also transfer $200,000 from the general revenue fund to the sheriff’s department since a tax, passed by voters in November for law enforcement, cannot be collected due to a technicality, according to the Missouri Department of Revenue.

To rectify the sales tax technicality, 155th District State Representative Travis Smith has filed a bill that would amend a law dealing with local sales tax rates that would raise the cap that counties can collect to one and a half percent, up from one-half a percent.

In other business on Monday, commissioners discussed last week’s snowfall and how easy the wet, heavy snow was to remove from county roads.

“That was a good snow to work, if there is such a thing,” said Western District Commissioner Layne Nance.

County commissioners meet every Monday at 9 a.m. on the second floor of the Ozark County Courthouse.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423