Supervisors propose tax increase

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2000

After some last-minute figuring, Adams County supervisors were able to reduce a proposed tax increase to less than 2 mills Wednesday.

Board members started an 8 a.m. meeting Wednesday thinking they needed to propose a 2.13 millage increase. They were able to reduce it to 1.95 mills after learning they had an extra $28,000 in cash balances.

Supervisors must still hold a public hearing on the tax increase before they can permanently adopt it.

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Supervisor Darryl Grennell said he was pleased with the budget, especially after the tax proposal dropped to below 2 mills.

&uot;The taxpayers should truly appreciate us,&uot; he said. &uot;(It is a) significant decrease from what we thought it would be. We’ve been working diligently up here for the taxpayers of Adams County.&uot;

As recently as Tuesday, supervisors thought the proposal would have to be more than 4 mills and they were pleased to be able to reduce it to even to as 2.13 mills.

&uot;I’m going to be honest with you,&uot; said Supervisor Thomas &uot;Boo&uot;&160;Campbell. &uot;I had no idea we would get it down (that low).&uot;

The 1.95 proposed millage increase equals about a $19 tax increase for a $100,000 house. The proposal is a 5.2 percent increase in the county’s property tax revenue. The total tax revenue will total $8,608,329 next fiscal year, or 53 percent of the county’s total revenues.

In figuring next year’s budget, supervisors made cuts to many departments, but they said the increase is still necessary to fund cost of living increases for county employees, who did not get a raise last year.

Under the proposed budget, the county’s some 200 employees — not including the supervisors — will get an 8 to 10 percent pay increase this year, said Supervisor Sammy Cauthen.

Other additions to this year’s budget include a payment on the juvenile justice center, five months of operation of the center and an extra $250,000 in asphalt for the road department.

Supervisors said the road department needs the extra funding for repairs to roads, bridges and culverts. &uot;Every other year if there was any additional cutting we always cut the road budget,&uot; Cauthen said. &uot;I just don’t feel we need to cut the road budget any more than we did this year.&uot;

And Supervisor Lynwood Easterling said most of the calls he gets from county residents involve concerns over road conditions — such as pot holes and the need for resurfacing.

&uot;If we don’t correct it we’re going to be in terrible shape,&uot; he said.

Adams County Road Manager Russell Dorris agrees the funding is needed. &uot;It would be a tremendous asset to all the traveling public of the county,&uot; he said.

Easterling said the board members also &uot;owe a lot&uot; to county department heads for working to reduce their budgets this year.