September 15, 2011

Crowd gathers for tax issue discussion

Crowd gathers for tax issue discussion

By ALLAN TINKER
Taxes, a matter as sure as death, was the issue at the public meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at the Sheridan County Community Room.
There were few smiles but many words exchanged as the taxpayers gathered around the table of commissioners and county auditor, waiting for the meeting to start.
The various documents that showed the increases in general, were read and explained by Auditor Shirley Murray. Commissioners Eldon Ehrman, Michael Axt and Howard Erdmann, who acted as chairman, attempted to answer questions on the tax issues as well as the FEMA dollars waiting for road repair in many, if not all, townships.
The crowd was restless, if just for answers. There were many questions in general:
“How do we get the state with a surplus to help counties that need help?”
“Who is sitting on FEMA dollars?”
“Does the county owe any money and, if not, why not issue bonds to get operating money?”
“Why not raise the mill levy on just improving the roads?”
“If all these increases and values are set by the state, why do we need assessors?”
Mill increase estimated is 2.72, which is impacted by the increase in valuations per quarter, 10 percent. Add in the mills that are outside of the county’s tax levy parameters, those for fire protection, ambulance service and schools, and the increase is “more like” 20 percent. The exact amount is difficult to state with any sureness, as the numbers for mill levy increases tends to be “estimates” and so do budgets until the “final answers’ are in, in October.
 


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