Panama City- Bay County Commissioners met on Thursday to discuss the annual budget.
Commissioners say the county is receiving less property tax money due to decreases in property values.
Commissioner Mike Thomas admitted commissioners need to make $1.5 million dollars in cuts in next year’s budget.
Constitutional officers such as the property appraiser and the Bay County sheriff, among others, presented their estimated budget needs.
Some had a decrease in budget demands such as the Bay County Clerk of Court, Bill Kinsaul.
Others, like Sheriff Frank McKeithen, requested an increase.
McKeithen says the request of an additional $350,000 is to help off-set the increase in insurance costs for employees.
McKeithen says the sheriff’s office is already stretched thin.
Deputies have already gone without new patrol cars and raises.
McKeithen also started a program where inmates refurbish older patrol cars to save money.
"We rob Peter to pay Paul. Myself and the major, we are out shagging calls and transporting prisoners. We're doing everything we can do and sometimes when we ask for a little assistance we get a negative response,” said McKeithen.
"Their increase request was based on insurance numbers that he had. The general fund of the county commission had increases in insurance anyway so we know that's happening, but we've got to figure out how to pay him with no money," said Bay County Commissioner Mike Thomas.
The budget will not be finalized for a few more months.
In the meeting, commissioners also voted to approve the budget for the construction of an outdoor amphitheater in Aaron Bessant Park.