PARIS — With three months remaining in its fiscal year, the Oxford County budget is in excellent shape.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Oxford County Commission reviewed the various reports compiled by county Treasurer Beth Calhoun and accountant Marc Roy. Through nine months, or 75% of the fiscal year, actual revenues earned by the county, not including county taxes, stand at 75.3%, while expenditures, the amount spent by the county, stands at 68.3%.

Only two departments have exceeded 75% of their budget as of Sept. 30 — District Attorney, 76.0%, and the Registry of Deeds, 76.4%.

The higher expenditure in the deeds budget is due to the unprecedented growth in real estate sales across the region due to the pandemic. At nine months, deeds has already surpassed the expected revenues for the year by nearly $75,000. Just the transfer tax collected by the county when the home sale is finalized,  is 50% above the anticipated revenue for the year in that account.

In a report prepared by Roy, the nontax revenues General Fund at $2.6 million is well ahead of budget at 89% with three months remaining.

The Jail Fund, which is not part of the General Fund, is lagging behind the rest of the budget. The significant revenue shortfall is due to a large discrepancy from what the state ultimately paid the county, which was nearly $700,000 less than  anticipated.

Roy’s report also noted that the revenues from Oxford Casino “seem to be fully back on track to pre-COVID levels.” That fund has earned the county $634,466 through Sept. 30 with a current balance of $2.3 million. Casino funds are often used to help offset the county tax rate.

Commissioner David Duguay of Byron praised the overtime report, which showed that with only a couple of exceptions, the department heads have kept their overtime costs in check. Referrals from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services have increased his department’s overtime costs, Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy James Urquhart said.


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