Van Buren supervisors lower tax asking
KEOSAUQUA – The Van Buren County Board of Supervisors approved its 2013-2014 budget after a hearing was held March 11.
The budget reflects a drop of $200,000 in property tax askings that were proposed, since the local option sales tax passed. Total expenditures are expected to be $7.3 million, a decrease of $1.1 million. Most of the decrease is due to a drop in pass-through grants to the Van Buren County Hospital and a lack of rock crushing in this fiscal year, because rock is crushed only every other year at the county quarry.
About 29 percent of the property tax bill goes to the county. The rest goes to schools (50 percent), hospital (9 percent), cities (7 percent) and other (4 percent).
Of the $6,841,634 in proposed revenues, about 40 percent comes from property taxes. Most of the rest comes from intergovernmental (52 percent).
Tax rates are down slightly. For rural taxpayers, the amount is $10.02 per $1,000 valuation, which is down from $10.32 under the current budget. For cities, taxes will fall from $8.04 to $7.99 per $1,000.
The amount of taxes levied against property owners is $2,646,045, compared with $2,579,601 in the current year;
The general basic fund restricted balance is proposed to be $870,295, which has seen a steady decrease since fiscal year ending 2011.
The rural tax levy for Van Buren County is the third lowest in the state and the fiscal year 2013 budget is the fourth lowest. The countywide levy is $8.04, which is above the average of similar-sized counties.
Chairman Mark Meek opened up the floor for public comment or questions. Melvin Keller asked about wash bays and new equipment purchases. He encouraged the secondary roads to keep up to date in equipment. County Engineer Dave Barrett said the wash bays are in this year’s budget and also he plans to ask for one new maintainer in next year’s budget.
Fred Cailey also asked about the fair appropriations.
As a result of the approval of the fiscal year 2014 budget, the supervisors set the following maximum expenditures for the various service areas as follows: public safety and legal services: $1,147,351; physical health and social services: $463,809; mental health: $222,955; county environment and education: $390,160; roads: $3,146,000; government services: $304,140; administration: $618,251; non-program current: $5,700 and capital projects of $417,600.
The total budgeted expenditures amount to $6,715,966, of which $666,428 are transferred funds.
It was further moved that the following maximum departmental appropriations be set:
Supervisors: $134,517; Auditor: $218,604; Treasurer: $217,359; Attorney: $111,277; Sheriff: $986,974; Recorder: $129,912; Engineer: $3,496,000; Veteran Affairs: $42,439; Conservation (01/02 funds: $179,476, all other funds: $65,350); Health board: $367,836; weed commissioner; $350; Human Services: $19,584; Care Facility: $20,700; Medical Examiner: $19,000; District Court: $11,000; General Services: $101,649; Mental Health: $226,705; juvenile probation officer: $25,000 and non-departmental: $342,534.