Tax rate benefitting General Revenue Fund includes rollback

There was good news for Marion County taxpayers on Monday as the county commissioners approved holding the 2017 property tax rate the same - $0.4613 per $100 assessed valuation.

The General Revenue Fund, which receives both sales tax and property tax revenue, will benefit from a property tax rate of $0.1350 per $100 assessed valuation.

“Our tax rate ceiling for the General Revenue Fund is $0.4351,” explained Valerie Dornberger, county clerk. “We take a 50 percent reduction for sales tax in a rollback and then we also take an additional sales tax rollback and set our rate at $0.1350. We could potentially set it at $0.4351, but we don’t.”

It is estimated the $0.1350 property tax rate will generate $605,351 for the county’s General Revenue Fund.

The property tax rate for the Road and Bridge Fund will again be $0.3263 per $100 assessed valuation. Unlike the tax rate that benefits the General Revenue Fund, no tax rollbacks are taken by the county commissioners when it comes to the Road and Bridge Fund.

“For Road and Bridge the ceiling is $0.3263 and that is what we set the rate at as it does not get sales tax. That (estimated $1,463,155) is their money to operate on for the year,” said Dornberger, noting that the county’s tax rate ceilings are computed every year by the state auditor’s office.

The state auditor bases the county’s property tax rate on the assessed valuation of the property in it. Overall, in 2017 Marion County saw an assessed valuation increase of just over $7.3 million. That’s not enough to warrant a drop in the property tax rate, according to Dornberger.

“A $7 million increase in assessed value doesn’t translate to a lot in dollars,” she said, projecting it will mean only $9,450 more for the county.

The proposed tax rate was approved unanimously by the commissioners.

“I’m very pleased we’re able to keep the rates the same,” said Presiding Commissioner Lyndon Bode. “It’s been a good year for Marion County. We’ve had a lot of projects accomplished and a few more to finish up. We’re very pleased to have made the progress we have this year.”

“It’s always nice not to have to raise taxes. Any time we get the chance to keep it (the tax rate) the way it is or go down, that’s a plus for us,” added Larry Welch, eastern district commissioner.

Asked his thoughts on the tax rate, Steve Begley, western district commissioner, said, “(There’s) nothing to say. It’s a good deal.”

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com