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The Carthage Press
  • City to set property tax rates at council meeting

  • Property tax rates will increase very slightly if the Carthage City Council approves the proposed rate schedule two weeks from the council's regular meeting on Tuesday.
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  • Property tax rates will increase very slightly if the Carthage City Council approves the proposed rate schedule two weeks from the council's regular meeting on Tuesday.
    The council will hear those rates on first reading at the regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Carthage City Hall.
    The total property tax rate for 2014-2015 will increase by less than a penny from 75.34 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to 76.29 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. City officials say that means the property taxes paid to the city by the owner of a home valued at $100,000 will increase from $143.15 in 2013 to $144.95 in 2014.
    Carthage City Administrator Tom Short said property taxes have stayed in a range between 75 and 80 cents per $100 of assessed valuation for much of the past decade.
    Property taxes contribute to city funds in four categories, general revenue, the public library, public health and parks and recreation.
    Short said in the general fund, for example, property taxes contribute about 5 percent of the total revenue to that fund which pays for fire, police and most other city services.
    "This is the money that residents contribute directly to the operation of the city," Short said.
    He said property tax rates peaked in 1999 when they were about 95 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
    City Clerk Lynn Campbell said the property values worksheet given to council members that was used to calculate the allowable property tax rate by the state auditor's office looks misleading because it includes personal property values, but the city doesn't receive revenues from personal property taxes.
    The sheet shows that overall property valuation, including personal property values, went up from $166,660,370 in 2013 to $170,316,483 in 2014.
    All of that increase was in personal property taxes, which jumped from $49,641,727 in 2013 to $53,499,100 in 2014.
    Real estate valuations, which do impact city property tax rates, dropped by a little less than $200,000 from $116,790,010 in 2013 to $116,596,950 in 2014.
    In other business:
    The council will take final votes on four issues brought up at their last regular meeting.
    Council members will vote on a budget amendment that deals with costs related to traffic signal installation at County Route HH and Hazel Street and re-appropriates $125,000 for architectural services for a proposed new fire station in the south part of town.
    The money for the fire station was appropriated in last year's budget, but not spent.
    They will also vote on a proposed lease-purchase agreement to purchase a loader, dump truck and skid steer for the street department and equipment for the golf course.
    Council members will give a final yea or nay on giving the state of Missouri an easement to install a new septic system at the National Guard Armory, located in Municipal Park. The easement is needed because part of the septic system will be built on park land, but the council's public services and public works committees have reviewed the plans and said they will not adversely affect the nearby Municipal Golf Course.
    Page 2 of 2 - The council will also vote on city code changes that will move electrical inspection services from Carthage Water & Electric Plant to the city Public Works Department and change the fees paid by contractors for inspections and city licensing.

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