JEFFERSON COUNTY, NE — A county in southeast Nebraska has officially adopted its budget for the next fiscal year.

The Jefferson County Commissioners put the final stamp on things Tuesday morning. The overall budget will see an overall increase of about 4.6 percent. Commissioners said at a public hearing earlier this month they believed that was a good mark since inflation had reached levels over 8 percent in recent months. 

The county's property tax levy is increasing about four percent with valuations increasing about two percent. The levy for last year's budget was set at 34.2767 cents per $100 of property valuation. This year's is set at 35 cents per $100 in valuation. 

Jefferson County also is the only county in Nebraska to have an ambulance service funded with a property tax levy. That levy request increased substantially — about 45 percent from 5.37 cents per $100 in valuation to 7.58 cents per $100 in valuation.

The other property tax levy determined by the county — the County PWF Highway Bond — is decreasing this year by about 31 percent from 2.6 cents per $100 in valuation to 1.75 cents per $100 in valuation.

Commissioners said increased costs caused by inflation and raising staff wages to remain competitive with other employers were big factors leading to the tax increases. Commissioners also noted that in talks with residents, people were largely against cutting or reducing any services to bring down the county's expenses.