HARDIN — Calhoun County taxpayers should expect a higher property tax bill in the new year, following actions taken by the Board of Commissioners on Monday, Nov. 6.
To date, taxpayers only had to pay a tax levy of 1%. However, due to various factors, keeping the rate as is just wasn’t an option.
“We estimate that our levy with corporate and special monies will be $1,509,890. What we have to conclude here is if we want that estimated levy to go up,” said Board Chairman Phil Robeen. “While the cost of everything is going up, the county at the moment is in pretty decent financial shape.”
Robeen further details that all county-owned vehicles and equipment are in pretty good shape. However, he said that he could see salaries for elected officials likely increasing
The apprehension surrounding passing too high of a tax levy rate surrounds last year’s tax levy hike of 4.99%. Commissioner Terry Woelfel motioned for no levy hike, which did not pass.
“Prior to that, we were very diligent in not doing that. I think we had zeros, ones, and twos,” Robeen noted the levy hikes from previous years.”My recommendation, being that we went to 4.99% last year, I think we go to no more than 1% if even 1% this year.”
Commissioner Patrick Simon stated that county expenses are changing. The court system isn’t collecting as much money [due to the SAFE-T Act, better known as the Pretrial Fairness Act]. For the county to continue making improvements in salaries and public safety (including police protection), the levy would need to be higher.”
“I don’t like taxes either or raising taxes,” Simon adds. “But to be fiscally responsible, this requires the correct budgeting.”
Considering the FY24 budget, roughly $31,000 in additional costs are likely necessary just on salaries alone.
Following discussion, Simon motioned for a 2% levy increase. The motion would pass with Commissioners Woelfel and Deanne Fester voting against it.
With the 2% levy hike, the levy is estimated to be roughly $1.54 million, a roughly $31,000 increase. This would barely offset the increasing payroll costs in FY24.
In other business, the board announced that Peggy Hall has completed the certifications essential for the Supervisor of Assessments position. A motion by Simon to appoint Hall to the vacancy would pass unanimously.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.