County estimates 1.1% tax hike
Typical residence’s tax bill would go up $6.21
A preliminary Marion County budget proposal Friday included a property tax increase of 0.72 mills for 2012, or about 1.1 percent compared with the previous year. Even reaching that budget required cutting several items from a preliminary proposal.
Among the items cut were 1 mill that was going to be saved to renovate or replace the County Health Department building, a 0.5 mill transfer to the county’s emergency reserves, 1 mill for contractual services, and delaying a 0.5 mill transfer that would have been saved for ambulance replacement. The county also raised expected ambulance department revenues by about $40,000 combined for 2011 and 2012.
A 1.1 mill increase would be an increase of $6.21 per year on a house with an appraised value of $75,000.
A draft budget earlier in the day showed an increase of more than 5 mills, accountant Scot Loyd told Marion County Commission.
The commission set a goal of increasing property taxes no more than 1 mill. Over the course of about three hours, commissioners reduced line items to meet that goal.
Commissioner Randy Dallke said he would have liked to send the budget back to department heads to find things that could be cut, but there wasn’t enough time.
Emergency Medical Service Director Steve Smith said the delayed transfer for ambulance replacement is bearable and that the increased revenue projections are still below what he considers the most probable amount.
The commission will meet with Loyd again Aug. 8 to approve the budget for publication in the Marion County Record. At a future meeting, the commission will approve of the budget.
If projections hold, county property taxes will have increased about 3 mills over a two-year period.
Sales tax receipts stable
County receipts of sales tax for May sales totaled $51,944, a decrease of less than 0.8 percent from 2010. Overall year-to-date receipts are up about 1.7 percent from the same period in 2010.
In other business:
- Cardie Oil Company of Tampa will supply 10,950 gallons of fuel to Road and Bridge Department for a total of $37,027. Cooperative Grain and Supply of Hillsboro bid $37,157.
- Cooperative Grain and Supply will supply 3,600 gallons of fuel to Road and Bridge Department for a total of $11,940. Cardie Oil Company bid $11,941.
- The county set a policy for rural residents to request sand in front of their houses for dust control on gravel roads. The county will supply the sand free-of-charge, and the resident will pay for the cost to haul it, dependent on the distance driven. Residents who live along a road that was blacktop but was converted to gravel will not be charged.
- The commission will interview three in-house candidates for the road and bridge superintendent position today at 9, 10, and 11 a.m. The commission will meet beginning at 8 a.m. to review the applicants before the interviews.