OGDEN -- Most residents will go into the new year with a lower tax rate when the Weber County budget goes into effect Jan. 1.
The Weber County Board of Commissioners approved the final budget recently.
The commission approved the tentative budget Nov. 6 and held a public hearing Nov. 27. Weber County Comptroller Dan Olsen said differences between the final budget and the tentative budget include a slight decrease in spending and a slight increase in revenue for the county.
The 2013 expenditures will total $135 million, as opposed to the $138 million listed on the tentative budget.
Of the $135 million, $110 million pertains to the county's operating budget, $6 million in debt service funds and $18.9 million in capital projects, which include the Weber County Ice Sheet expansion and repairs to flood-damaged areas.
Some of the savings comes from lower rates on the county's debt services, such as interest and principle on bonds the county has issued over the years, and a new deal with Weber State University regarding the Ice Sheet.
Olsen said the county originally planned to cover all of the bills pertaining to the Ice Sheet, but then Weber State agreed to take over those payments.
The county also saw a slight increase in revenue, thanks to returns on delinquent taxes, tourism tax and the transportation tax, as well as a $17,000 grant received through the county surveyor's office. In all, the total revenue is set at $127 million. The county will use $10 million in 2013 from a $14 million federal grant awarded this year.
"We think the county has been doing the best we can in light of the downturn," Olsen said.
The 2013 budget also takes into account renegotiated contracts between the Weber County Sheriff's Office and the communities to which it provides police service. Until now, the rest of the county has had to subsidize sheriff's services through money from the general fund.
Because of the renegotiated contracts, many residents will see a savings in the general fund rate when they receive their tax notice in October.
Residents of unincorporated areas, however, will have to pay more for their public safety services. Olsen said the decrease in the general fund rate should balance that out and leave the payment the same as the year before.
With the increase in revenue, the county will give its employees a 2 percent cost-of-living raise, and most employees will receive merit pay increases, which will range from 1.5 percent to 3 percent.
Olsen said the county has not given its employees a raise in 2 1/2 years.
The county plans to add three full-time positions and offer more hours to a few part-time employees. The full-time employees include two registered nurses for the county jail and an engineer to assist with the capital projects.