BELPRE - Belpre City Council held an abbreviated special meeting Monday following a public hearing to pass legislation adopting the tax budget for next year.
Council unanimously passed the third and final reading of the resolution that lays out a tentative tax budget for next year during the special meeting as it needed to be approved by council and sent to the Washington County auditor by the end of July, said city auditor Leslie Pittenger.
"This is what we think we will collect in property tax revenue for 2013," Pittenger told council. "I expect (the rate) to be flat with no increase or decrease from 2012 and that hasn't changed for about 15 years."
Photo by Jolene Craig
Belpre City Auditor Leslie Pittenger discusses the need for Belpre City Council to pass the final reading of a resolution to adopt the tax budget for calendar year 2013 Monday.
Pittenger said the property tax value is $104,084,490 with an estimated tax budget of 3.4 percent, which is $334,000 for 2013. The tax budget is an estimate of the next year's municipal revenues and expenditures that must be submitted annually to the Washington County auditor to continue receiving reimbursement from state tax revenues.
"It's really a housekeeping piece mandated by the state that we are required to do each year," she said.
All council members were in attendance, although 1st Ward Councilman Larry Martin sat in as council president as Will Neff is on vacation and at-Large Councilwoman Susan Abdella took notes while city clerk Kim Meredith is also on vacation. Only five of the seven council members were needed for a special meeting to take place.
No community members attended the public hearing about the tax budget before the special meeting.
The first two readings of the resolution were passed by council during the July 23 regular council meeting.
In other business:
Pittenger told council $166,100 needs to be reappropriated from the other funds, including the general fund, to other areas of the city's finances to cover expenses that have come up since the appropriations were originally approved in December.
The supplemental appropriations to be changed include adding grant funds approved for the senior center expansion, sanitation department purchases, maintenance costs and to the street department to repair equipment, Pittenger said.
"Many of these are to change this year's budget and appropriate funds that couldn't have been anticipated last year when the appropriations were originally filed with the Washington County Auditor's office," she said. "The city has the funds; they just need to be appropriated to the correct departments."
Safety-Service Director Dave Ferguson called the changes a "mid-year adjustment."
"There is no way to anticipate an emergency when you need to replace equipment or an increase in the cost of electric," Ferguson said. "We just can't anticipate issues like that."
City Law Director Tom Webster is expected to have the legislation drawn up and ready for the Aug. 13 regular council meeting.