Final public hearing on county tax rate today

Staff Writer

his evening for the second of two public hearings regarding the county’s proposed property tax rate for the next fiscal year.
The proposed rate, 44 cents per $100 valuation, is the same as the current tax rate. It is also slightly higher than the effective tax rate of 43.1259 cents per $100 valuation, meaning the county should take in approximately $250,000 more than last year, said County Judge Kathryn Wiseman. The extra funds will go to build the county’s depleted fund balance, she said.
“Our fund balance is down, and best practices for counties and entities is to keep six months’ reserve, so that if something happened, we’d still be able to pay payroll and pay our bills for six months,” Wiseman said. “We had dipped into that last year, and to replenish that, we felt we needed to go with the 44 cents again this year.”
The hearing will take place at 5:30 p.m. this evening in the third-floor courtroom at the Howard County Courthouse.
Commissioners held a previous public hearing on the tax rate at their meeting last Monday, but no citizens showed up to address the commissioners at that meeting.
The commissioners plan to officially vote on the new tax rate at their regular meeting Monday, Sept. 25, at 3:30 p.m.