Residents in Musselshell County are angry over the county's current financial status and taxes. A public meeting was held Thursday night in Roundup to address the concerns within the community.
County commissioners answered questions regarding the town's finances and the missing audits from the last ten years, in an effort on correcting the problems. The three Musselshell county commissioners faced dozens of upset tax payers at Thursday night's meeting. They explained how an audit of the budget hasn't been done since 2014 and because of this, they don't know where the budget currently stands.
Chair of Musselshell County Commission Nicole Borner explained to dozens of tax payers since an audit hadn't been done for years, and without a system for checks and balances, she said the books are a mess.
"We had incomplete information when we were setting budgets and approving claims. We learned that funds were receipted incorrectly and money was moved around arbitrarily throughout the budget," Borner said.
The information presented to the crowd greatly concerned tax payers, riling up those who were there and bringing some to the edge of their seats.
"We don't even know where our money is," said one tax payer. "We only know what it's doing. It doesn't matter at this point who failed to do the audits, who did this, who did that- it hasn't been done."
"It's not working," said another tax payer. "Can we agree it's not working?"
"You're not working together!" Shouted another tax payer.
Borner, as well as the other two county commissioners, tried to explain to the public there needs to be a 2/3 vote in order to make any decision, which is how they decided to hire an auditor this year to sort this all out.
Now that a mill levy is proposed for county residents, many of the residents don't feel it's fair to raise property taxes before knowing where the budget currently stands. Some even believing it's due to fraud, waste, and even abuse of power.
"One thing I don't understand is how they can tax us legally on a projected value?" said a meeting attendee.
After a much-needed discussion, Borner said all the commissioners can do now is clean up the books and know where the budget is and she feels that is exactly what they are working on.
Some of the residents stated they wanted the commissioners held responsible, while others tried to find a resolution by suggesting to cut spending.
The auditing the Musselshell County Commissioners have paid for will cost roughly around $275,000.