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Library’s blueprint for 2010 skirts cuts

Getting an unexpected influx of cash, the Allen County Public Library board approved a flat-line budget for 2010 without making significant cuts.

The $23 million budget includes funding for 2 percent raises but decreased funding for supplies and new materials. The overall budget is slightly higher than the 2009 budget.

The library board will officially determine wages later this year and in theory could decide to give a smaller increase, finance manager Dave Sedestrom said.

Library officials expected to lose $1.3 million in property tax revenue because of new caps on taxes that take full effect in 2010.

New projections released this month show the library losing even more to the caps, Director Jeff Krull said.

Based on the new projections, the library will collect $1.5 million less in property tax revenue, Krull said.

But income tax revenue is expected to be higher than library officials anticipated. New projections released by the state show the library will receive $900,000 more than expected, Krull said.

The state collects income taxes and distributes that money at least one year behind. Most local governments were expecting the drop in wages and earnings stemming from the recession to hit next year. Instead, that drop will hit in 2011 and 2012.

For next year, the extra cash makes up for the larger hit from the tax caps and eliminates a deficit that the board had yet to tackle, Sedestrom said.

When the budget was introduced in July, the board still needed to trim $619,000. Officials suggested a few ways, including not giving raises, reducing benefits and not buying as many new materials.

The passed budget does not use all of the extra income tax revenue.

“We’re going to need that in 2011,” Sedestrom said.

aiacone@jg.net

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