Lawrence Co. Commission facing 2014 budget - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Lawrence Co. Commission facing 2014 budget

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

Just after learning they're losing the county's biggest employer, the Lawrence County Commission must come up with a budget for 2014 by next Tuesday.

It will not affect the property tax revenue for the 2014 budget because International Paper's taxes from this year will come in as usual. But the devastating news that the plant is closing at the end of March could affect decisions on this budget as commissioners look to the near future.

Commissioners are already looking at cuts for the 2014 year's budget and they know there will be some lost revenue when the mill closes that will hit the 2015 budget. They're also looking at sales tax revenue they'll lose before then with $1,100 workers losing their jobs.

Lawrence County Commission Chairman Prentis Davis said some commissioners are calling for cuts for all agencies across the board. Davis says no matter what gets slashed, they need to handle their finances better, by making the county's agencies accountable for funding

"If any department head comes to them and needs more money, every line item is voted on by the county commission. That's not the way things have been done in the past, and that's the way it needs to be done. That cuts out a lot of the over spending," said Davis.

Lawrence County's general fund went $700,000 in the hole during the current budget. They had to get a line of credit to pay the bills. Davis said that can never happen again, especially with international paper shutting down.

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