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Budget Adopted For The County

By David Howell

Editor


COFFEEVILLE – Supervisors adopted the proposed $8 million county budget and set the millage rate for the 2017-18 fiscal year following a public hearing Tuesday morning in the Coffeeville courthouse. 

The budget includes a $271,000 increase in local ad valorem taxes that will be collected in the coming fiscal year that starts on October 1, an increase that comes as the assessed value of the county’s land and personal tax rolls jumped 5,395,496 following a mandated reappraisal year.  The increased value in the tax rolls meant that even with the decrease in millage set Tuesday, down from 86.15 mills to 84.50 mills, many property owners will pay more taxes because the value of their property increased.

Almost a third of the extra tax money, $90,000, will go to the hospital to help fund the cost of operating ambulances in the county. Another $25,000 will go to the county’s library system to offset funding for Coffeeville and Oakland libraries following state cuts.  County employees also received a $50 monthly pay raise in the coming year. The added expenses did not gobble up the entire  $271,000 increase and $100,000-plus will go to the county coffers as surplus money.

Unlike last month’s contentious budget meetings, Tuesday’s discussion was short and the proposed budget was adopted unanimously after there was no input from the public. The accompanying tax levy was adopted with a 4-1 vote, with District Five Supervisor Gaylon Gray voting against it.  Last month Gray was most vocal about not raising taxes, pointing to a $2 million-plus surplus the county has in the general fund.

During last month’s meetings District Three Supervisor Lee McMinn was most vocal for collecting more tax money, pointing to various long-term needs for the county.

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