At 2017’s final meeting of the St. Louis County Council, members voted to approve various FY18 budget bills.
Some of the legislation consisted of adopting a budget for the general fund, special road and bridge fund, health fund, park maintenance, assessment fund and highway capital construction budget.
According to estimates from the budget director, the county’s 2018 budget will allocate over $18 million from the reserves fund to cover spending. If spent, this would leave only $9 million and would put the county in the position to either raise revenue (taxes) or cut services, which St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger has publicly rejected.
The newly proposed budget will implement a spending freeze which will allow the same spending in 2017 and a 5 percent cushion. According to Councilman Harder’s office, this new budget proposal should not result in any layoffs or reduction in services.
Additionally, Harder said the legislation that was passed was an important step in continuing the financial health of St. Louis County.
“There is no scenario in which I will vote to raise taxes,” Harder said in a statement. “Therefore it is necessary to take actions now to reduce the budget deficit and increase oversight on spending. This will include more audits and reports given to the County Council so that County Government will be more conservative on spending.”
The next St. Louis County Council meeting will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.