Here what to know about the Camden County 2021 budget

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
Camden County Courthouse.

With a new year comes a new budgetary demand for each county to proclaim. Each county around the lake saw a surprise increase in sales tax throughout 2020, due to the high influx of tourism seen in the summer while many neighboring states tightened their COVID restrictions. Camden County has provided a look at where their revenues and expenditures will lie in 2021. Here’s what you need to know:

Revenues

Camden County’s 2021 budget currently lists the expected revenue at $62,728,967. This revenue is broken up into a number of different areas, with the highest income coming from Intergovernmental Revenue. According to the data provided, this is revenue consists of state reimbursements received for jail housing cost, juvenile detention, property assessment and child support enforcement activities. These reimbursements are subject to appropriation at the state level and have been significantly reduced in recent years. The County also receives distributions from the state-wide motor fuel taxes, state motor vehicle sales tax and state motor vehicle licensing fees.

Another major area of revenue comes from the aforementioned county sales tax. County data states that sales tax is for the specific purpose of road and infrastructure, law enforcement services and 911/Emergency Management. Sales tax is inherently more volatile than other sources of revenue, leading to the county listing this source on a conservative level. 

Here is the full list of revenues listed and the amount expected to be received:

Intergovernment $18,492,500 

Sales tax $12,170,000 

Tax pass thru $11,329,688 

Other revenue $8,999,106 

Fees $6,184,095 

Property tax $4,355,000 

Reimbursements $1,167,369 

Interest $28,584 

NID'S $2,625 

Expenditures

While the many revenue streams of the county can be gathered in a somewhat simple list, the expenditures of the county are vast. However, they currently list the total amount over a million dollars below the revenue line at $61,377,095. Three major areas of the county account for a large portion of the expenditures list.

Highest on this list is general government expenditures. The county explains these costs as follows: “The County provides various services including record preservation (real estate transactions and marriage licenses); parcel mapping; assessment of real estate and personal property for taxing purposes; property tax collection, distribution, and reporting for all taxing entities with the County; voter registration and elections; information technology support; human resources; planning and zoning; wastewater; purchasing; County Public Health Department; GIS; accounting and financial reporting; budgeting and treasury and investment management.”

The second highest expenditure listed is the public entities funded by the county, such as fire and ambulance services, shelters, schools and more. Below this are the appropriations for LEST, which is the partial funding for the Prosecuting Attorney, Sheriff and Corrections along with E-911, Public Administrator the 26th Judicial Circuit Court and Juvenile Detention Center and various alternative sentencing programs. The County provides medical examiner services through a contract with an outside service. 

While only representing the fourth-highest expenditure on the list, one area to look at is road and bridge costs. At $7.9 million, this is of course the money dedicated towards the over 900 miles of roadway infrastructure, consisting of paved and unpaved roads, around Camden County. This budgeting has led to issues with lacking funds for the department in the past.

Here is the full list of expenditures listed and the amount expected to be spent:

General government $19,974,360 

Other public entities $18,644,357 

LEST-Sheriff, corrections, judicial $12,815,330 

Road and bridge $7,983,081

Discretionary $1,366,111 

Debt service $593,856