Morgan County’s County Council operates under Indiana state law as the budgetary agent that examines appropriations and budgets for county government agencies. Every year the Council decides on the budget requests of each county agency, and submits its recommendations to the state government for final approval. During the course of the year, agencies that see a need for additional funding or wish to significantly change/transfer the way they spend their funds come to the County Council during regular monthly meetings to receive approval of their funding requests.
The Council is intended to be a fiscal organization that examines the ability of the county to pay for proposed expenditures, but in many cases the Council can suggest policy changes or program adjustments with an eye on the fiscal impact. This fine line between fiscal management on the one hand, and policy/programmatic control on the other hand, is occasionally a source of confusion to the public, agencies, and even the members of the Council itself as they struggle to avoid putting their fingers too deeply into the specialized fields of activity carried out by the agencies, while still maximizing the value of the tax dollars spent.
The one area of county government policy that the County Council clearly is intended to have a roll in is tax policy. The Council has input or direct control over such questions as tax abatement, tax increment financing, the relative reliance on property taxes versus income taxes, and other, similar issues.
Jeff Quyle, May 2009
popular government, without popular information or the means of acquiring
it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance,
and a people who mean to be their own governors
must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
James Madison, August 4, 1822 (the year that Morgan County was established)