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County property tax holds steady
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Warren County officials could be looking at a decade without a property tax increase.
If the 2012-13 fiscal year budget passes without one, it will be eight years at the previous rate of $2.31 and two years at the rate of $1.9955, the new rate after property reappraisals in 2010. The reduction to $1.99 was because the reappraisal would have amounted to a property tax increase because the value of property in Warren County rose. The $1.9955 rate now brings in the same amount of property tax as the previous rate of $2.31.
Budget and Finance Committee members met Thursday to discuss the fiscal year 2013 budget transfers and amendments, as well as consider what the tax rate should be for the upcoming fiscal year.
Without discussion, members voted 5-0 to recommend the tax rate stay $1.99 for 2013. Voting in favor of the measure were Commissioners Herschel Wells, Terry Bell, Carl Bouldin, Ken Martin and Michael Martin.
Along with a $12,500 transfer within the ambulance fund budget for 2011-12, the committee approved the following transfers within the general fund budget:
• County Commission – $700
• Election Commission – $2,700
• Register of Deeds – $1,000
• General Sessions Court – $500
• Drug Court – $1,000
• Chancery Court – $500
• Public Safety – $1,000
• Public Health and Welfare – $500
• Alcohol and Drug Programs – $500
• Agriculture Extension Service – $4,000
• Airport – $2,700
“We always make budget revisions within departments during the year,” said Linda Hillis, financial director for Warren County, in explaining the transfers. “They must go before the committee for approval. This is something we do every year.”
Departments transfer money from one line item within their budget into another line item if needed. For example, Alcohol and Drug Programs transferred $500 from “Other Supplies and Materials” into “Travel” within its budget.
In explaining the largest transfer, that of Ambulance/ Emergency Medical Services of $12,500, Hillis says some of the employees underwent recent training which required budget adjustments.
Four members of the department attended training from March 11-16 to become medical examiner investigators, formerly called coroners. The cost of training was $3,800, plus other expenses like salary, lodging, transportation, meals, etc.
Transfers within the department:
• Increased were $2,000 into Travel, $1,000 into Gasoline, $4,000 into Maintenance and Repair of Vehicles, $200 into Other Supplies and Materials and $5,300 into Workman’s Compensation Insurance, totaling $12,500.
• Decreased were Salaries and Wages by $6,000, In-service Training by $2,000, Unemployment Compensation by $1,000, Utilities by $1,000, Other Charges by $1,500 and Health Equipment by $1,000, totaling $12,500.
When it comes to departmental budgets for the upcoming year, departments must submit budgets to their prospective committee for review. Those will be presented to Budget and Finance for its consideration.
Budget and Finance will meet March 27 at 4:45 p.m. to review budget amendments. The tax rate recommendation will be presented to the full Warren County Commission on April 16 at 6:30 p.m. No dates have been set to review departmental budgets.