Add budget hearing to your schedule for Sept. 27

Ward County residents and others with deep concern for the county should mark their calendars for Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., and do their best to attend Ward County’s public budget hearing in the county administration building.

The county has already made reasonable budget cuts. Furthermore, the county commission wisely engaged department heads to determine ways to cut spending in 2018.

That said, the impact of the general economy and that effect on revenue remains a challenge – and not one thoroughly overcome as of now. Despite planned spending cuts, county taxpayers are still looking at about a 13 percent increase in their tax levies. The owner of a $200,000 home, for example, would see a tax bill of $675, up about $77 and assuming no change in property value.

It isn’t a massive increase, but it is still an increase at a time many are facing other financial challenges.

Despite budget cuts already planned, county officials do have other tools at their disposal to further bring down taxes. Some of those measures might not be terribly popular for some, but they are options.

It’s approaching time for the public to speak up about county budget priorities and to offer any insight or suggestions. These are challenging financial times and it would be hard to imagine county officials refusing to hear any suggestion that eases the burden on the county and its residents.

Minot Daily News strongly encourages attendance at and participation in the public hearing on Sept. 27. Now is the time to let your voice be heard and to have the chance to help better all of Ward County.