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Lake County Council tentatively approves balanced budget for 2021

Lake County Council tentatively approves balanced budget for 2021

Lake County Government Center

The Lake County Government Center is shown.

CROWN POINT — The Lake County Council has tentatively approved a $255 million spending plan for 2021.

The proposed county budget is balanced by spending slightly less money than the county expects to collect in income taxes, property taxes, fees and other revenue, according to Scott Schmal, the council's finance director.

Overall, county spending is slated to increase approximately 2% in 2021 compared to 2020, and most county employees next year will receive a 3% pay raise, Schmal said.

The council generally discouraged county departments from seeking any significant new spending next year to minimize the chance of a 2022 budget shortfall when the income tax revenue impact of this year's COVID-19 shutdowns filter from the state to the county level.

The budget was approved 6-0 on "first reading." It's scheduled for final approval Oct. 13.

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