News release from Allen County Recorder John McGauley:
County Recorder’s office to propose 28.9% budget cut
Efficiencies, smaller staff size allow Recorder’s Office to decrease dependence on tax dollars
(Aug. 2, 2011) – The Allen County Recorder’s Office will respond to County Council’s call for general fund budget cuts with a reduction nearly four times larger than the one requested.
The Recorder’s Office brings in approximately $1.5 million a year in fees, two-thirds of which goes into the county’s general fund and other funds outside the Recorder’s Office. Approximately $560,000 a year is retained by the Recorder’s Office for operations and personnel expenses.
In previous years, the county general fund (supported by property tax dollars) paid for Recorder’s Office personnel while fee revenue paid for projects, such as technology upgrades and digitization of records. As property tax revenue has declined, Recorder’s Office personnel costs have increasingly been paid through fees charged to record documents and obtain copies.
Property tax expenditures on the Recorder’s Office have declined from a peak of $489,157 in 2002 to $114,019 in 2011. In its recent call for countywide budget cuts of 7 percent, County Council cut that proposed amount to $106,007 for 2012. Instead, the Recorder’s Office will propose a general fund budget of $75,286 – a reduction of 28.9 percent over 2011.
“Between reengineering our workflow and implementing time-saving technology, the Recorder’s Office has achieved a level of efficiency that has left us far less dependent on property tax dollars,” said Allen County Recorder John McGauley. “Living more and more off the revenue we bring in gives the county general fund a little more breathing room in difficult times.”
The majority of savings in the Recorder’s Office have come through reductions (through attrition) in staff size. Headcount has fallen from 13-1/2 positions in 2007 to 10 permanent positions in 2011.