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San Jacinto News Times - Local News

Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company


County proposes one-cent tax increase


COLDSPRING – With a loss of property values amounting to over $1.4 billion, San Jacinto County's proposed budget for 2014 reflects spending down for the fiscal year and a tax increase of just over one-cent. According to San Jacinto County Auditor Carole Martin, $200,000 was taken from the county's fund balance for the proposed budget. "We still have a healthy fund balance," Martin said Monday, following a budget workshop. Martin said it is important to maintain three months of operating expenses in the fund balance. The only capital purchases included in the budget is those for software and for four new compactors for the sanitation department. "There is nothing for vehicles this year," she said, "and the budget doesn't include anything for salary increases. "Our major expense change includes a 3 percent increase in health insurance," Martin said. Only two new fulltime positions are included in the budget – one in the county's sanitation department and one for the county's 911 addressing department. Total expenses for the 2014 draft budget in the county's general fund is $9.4 million, up from about $9.2 million in 2013, according to Martin. "In the county's road and bridge fund, Precinct 1 will have about $810,000; Precinct 2 about $819,000; Precinct 3 about $892,000 and Precinct 4 about $848,000, which is about the same as last year," Martin said. The county's current tax rate is $0.636 per $100 property valuation. This year's effective tax rate is $0.648 and the roll back rate is $0.733. "The effective tax rate will raise $75,703 less than last year," Martin said. This year's effective tax rate would impose the same total taxes as last year if you compare properties taxed in both years. Since the county will not be going over the effective tax rate no public hearing has been scheduled on the tax rate. The budget is expected to be adopted Thursday, Sept. 12, at 9 a.m. A copy of the proposed budget has been filed in the San Jacinto County Clerk's office and it will be posted on the county's website following its adoption


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