Floyd County facing layoffs and tax increase - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Floyd County facing layoffs and tax increase due to budget shortfall

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Floyd County Councilmember Jim Wathen blames the county's decision to purchase Pine View Elementary School for the budget shortfall. Floyd County Councilmember Jim Wathen blames the county's decision to purchase Pine View Elementary School for the budget shortfall.

FLOYD COUNTY, Ind.  (WDRB) -- A southern Indiana county is facing a huge problem-- a 2-million dollar hole in its budget. 

Floyd County is home to more than 75,000 people. But the population is not the number that's being talked about these days. 

"We're working right now on the 2014 budget.  And we're still around 2-million dollars away,"  said Floyd County Councilmember Jim Wathen.

Wathen says the county is facing a significant budget shortfall and some tough decisions: "We're going to have a tough time keeping peoples' spirits ups when this thing, as it unrolls."

And here's what's about to unroll -- officials are considering borrowing money and even layoffs to help bridge the gap.

"I think we are right there; I just don't think we can balance next year's budget without layoffs," Wathen said.

Wathen says borrowing money also has negative consequences. 

"If they do what they're talking about doing, it's about a 2-million dollar loan and they will have to raise everybody in Floyd County's taxes."

WDRB shared those options with a few Floyd County taxpayers. 

"Well, I think taking out a loan, that would just be total bad business," said Doug Banet.

Regina Brkic sees it a little differently: "How about do something with David Camm and quit spending money on him!  Three times now, that's probably where the deficit came from."

Turns out, that's a big misconception about the county's financial problems.

"It hasn't really put us where we are because we had the money set aside," Wathen said.

Instead, Wathen blames the decision to purchase the former Pine View Elementary School and turn it into a government center. 

"So if we as tax payers bought and maintained a school building for years and years then why did we have to turn around and pay a million 2 for it?"

The Floyd County Council will hold a special meeting on Thursday to look at all of the options on the table.

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