Property tax hike likely
Tuesday, August 4, 2015 10:17 am
It is only one of the budgetary issues set for discussion at the meeting which begins at 5 p.m. in the Courthouse. The agenda includes:
Ben Rodgers, County Government Consultant with the County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS), told the Cannon Budget Committee about the state's push to build a good general fund balance.
Rodgers said the state considers a proper fund balance to be at least 9 percent more than the year-ending fund expenditures. For Cannon County that balance should be $456,000.
Cannon's total estimated expenditures for the 2015-2016 fiscal year is expected to be $5,042,781, leaving a general fund balance of only $141,770, which means the county could be starting in the hole for the next fiscal year (2016-2017).
Rogers told the commissioners the state would prefer the balance to be $600,000.
After considerable discussion, the budget committee voted to recommend a 19-cent property tax increase with each cent bringing in an approximate $20,000. That would push the fund balance to $236,000 at the end of fiscal 2015-2016.
The committee had orginally planned to pass a $20 wheel tax increase earmarked for the county general fund as a solution to Cannon County's budgetary woes.
But County Executive Mike Gannon explained the wheel tax increase could not be done in time for this coming year's budget.
The wheel tax increase would have to pass by a two-thirds vote of the full Commission at two separate regular meetings (August and September). That means the tax increase could not be approved by Aug. 30 (as required by state budgetary processes).
Gannon said in addition to the possibility of the wheel tax failing to pass the County Commission, a public referendum could be called for which means the tax might not be passed by March 2015.
Which means the State Comptroller's Office would not accept the Cannon County's budget under those circumstances, he said.