By Ted Shockley

There is mixed financial news for Northampton County, where revenues during the last fiscal year beat year-over-year actuals by more than $1 million.

But increased year-over-year expenses wiped out most of those gains, with the county spending more than $900,000 in Fiscal Year 2019 than FY 2018.

The school board spent almost $660,000 less than it budgeted during the last fiscal year, in part because of vacant positions it never filled.

The school board excess will go into its capital budget, or one-time expenses outside of operational costs. 

The school system also saved money in lower electric usage and fuel prices.

Even with the excess money, the school board decided against spending $25,000 this year for a program that would have provided free breakfast and lunch for all students. 

Northampton County collected more than $726,000 in year-over-year property taxes in FY 2019, but the Board of Supervisors didn’t discuss a tax cut.

That could be because it was an expensive year for the county. Studies, legal fees and hires for positions that weren’t filled during the last fiscal year hiked expenses by $906,907 over FY 2018.

Overtime for the sheriff’s office year-over-year increased more than $173,000. Overtime and holiday pay for the emergency services department increased more than $145,000.

Still, even with increased expenses, the county pocketed more than $149,000 over the previous year.