LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Ingham county officials are breathing a sigh of relief after finding enough money to fill a projected $12 million deficit.

Through increased revenues and conservative estimates of costs for programming such as retirement the deficit has been eliminated, says County Controller Gregg Todd.

Ingham County Commission leaders will get their first look at the balanced budget tonight at 6 p.m. at the Human Services Building.

Todd says county officials were very concerned in April when they began putting the budget together for the 2024 fiscal year. Facing an estimated $12 million hole in the budget, officials worried about having to cut programming. Part of the deficit was the result of salary reviews of employees resulting in between 7 and 8 percent pay increases last year for all employees.

But the area’s hot housing market resulted in a dramatic increase in property tax collection. The county is also benefiting from taxes generated by legal marijuana sales.

Todd says the county had expected a 4 percent increase in property tax revenues and instead landed a whopping 6.5 percent increase in property tax revenues. In 2023, Ingham County took in $60,519,676 in property taxes. This coming year it will take in $64,597,052. An increase of $4,077,376.

Contributions to the Municipal Employees Retirement System (MERS) by the county were more than $2 million less than estimated and expected by the county.

On top of the retirement savings, the county also expects $100,000 more in marijuana tax revenues from the state, boosting the total revenue to an estimated $400,000.

Rounding out the balancing of the budget, the Ingham County Register of Deeds submitted an additional $600,000 in fees collected and more than $475,000 in increased state revenue funding. The county also used $1 million in one-time American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) revenue replacement and the Ingham County Health Department returned $1 million it did not use as a result of other revenue from grants. In addition, the county eliminated $213,534 by canceling the continuation of a youth mental health youth outreach program. Another $100,000 was cut from a one-time environmental assessment survey line item.

Todd said he doesn’t expect the county to face significant deficit concerns for the 2025 fiscal year, in part because marijuana taxes and property tax revenues are expected to increase on pace with the expected pay raises for employees of 2 to 3 percent.