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Budget Cuts Target Constitutional Offices

County Finance Director Stephanie Jackson gave the board of supervisors an earful of budget woes Monday night during its regular monthly meeting — woes that could be made worse if the county is forced to cut funding to the five constitutional offices due to state budget reductions. According to Jackson, on September 8 Governor Timothy M. Kaine “came down with more cuts for localities” that will directly affect the compensation from the compensation board for the county’s five constitutional offices.

The county anticipates having to make about $187,000 in state budget cuts to the offices of the sheriff, treasurer, commissioner of revenue, clerk of circuit court and the commonwealth’s attorney, Jackson told supervisors.

None of the proposed cuts will affect salaries of the constitutional officers, she explained.

“All of the cuts are on the base budget excluding the officers’ salaries,” Jackson said.

The governor’s proposal calls for a 6.9 percent cut to the sheriff’s $1,363,000 base budget amounting to about a $94,000 reduction.

The commissioner of revenue will see a 17.6 percent cut to the office’s $141,626 budget amounting to a $12,400 cut, and the treasurer will see a similar 17.6 percent cut to the $132,000 base budget for that office amounting to a $11,500 reduction.

A 9.9 percent proposed cut to the commonwealth’s attorney’s budget of $403,000 will amount to a reduction of $39,000, while the clerk of circuit court’s budget of $166,000 is proposed to be cut 15.6 percent or $26,000.

Jackson said she anticipates education in the county will be affected by the governor’s proposed budget cuts, CSA funding, as well as some of the various programs the county has through community corrections.

However, she said that information has not been released at this time.

“As we go forward, I will be talking with all the officers to see where there is availability and what we can do. The governor did not line-item cuts. He has just done a bottom line cut. We will be working with this over the next couple of months, and then as this passes and the new governor comes in I’m sure we will have something very similar to work through,” Jackson told supervisors.

Complicating the matter are promises made by the state’s gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell, to reverse the reductions in January if Gov. Timothy M. Kaine implements them, officials have said.

Jackson said the cuts apply to the current budget year that ends June 30, 2010.