Uhland council eyes collecting ad valorem taxes
The Uhland City Council held a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday March 15, 2007 at the Uhland City Hall to gather public input about instituting an ad valorem tax on property in the City of Uhland.
The citizens who attended the pubic hearing heard about the need for an Ad Valorem tax. They heard about the current sources of funds to run the city. The council al
so discussed the city”s plans for a budget committee to build the city budget for the next fiscal year that starts on Oct. 1, 2007. The tax rate will have to be tied to the amount budgeted by the city council.
The city currently takes in approximately $37,000 from various sources to fund city expenses. The largest source of revenue for the city is the one-percent sales tax, which generates approximately $11,000 a year. The next biggest source of revenue is the franchise tax paid by the two electric providers. The revenue from franchise tax is approximately $10,000 per year. The only other significant source of revenue for the city is permitting fees for the Onsite Sewage Facility Program in the city. That revenue stream is approximately $9,000 per year. The last revenue source is rental of the Community Center, which is part of the City Hall building. That amounts to $6,700 per year.
The current expenses for the city are $13,700.00 for personnel (part-time City Administratior/Secretary, Onsite Wastewater Review and Inspection), utilities, fees to state agencies, community center upkeep and legal expenses. The current expense budget for the city is $35,343.00 per year.
If the City of Uhland is to fix or improve streets, probably the current most pressing need, then more money must be generated. Ad valorem taxes are one way the city council is considering increasing revenue.
The need for a long-range plan and funding source for a sewer plant was also discussed, but the council indicated that an ad valorem tax would probably not pay for a sewer plant and that improvement would have to be a future discussion.
Also discussed at the public hearing were the exemptions the city council was considering. Currently there are no exemptions in the City, as Uhland does not levy an ad valorem tax. The exemptions that the council is considering are a homestead exemption of one percent but not less than $5,000, an over-65 exemption of $10,000 and a “disabled person” exemption of $10,000. There would also be a freeze on taxes for those over 65 and disabled. Disabled veterans would be eligible for the state mandated exemptions that vary according to the degree of disability. Those at the meeting discussed the exemptions with the council members present and although no vote was taken because it was a public hearing, those present felt that the exemptions were appropriate.
There will be another pubic hearing on Wednesday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Uhland City Hall. The ad valorem tax and exemptions will again be discussed and public input is encouraged. The city council plans to act on the tax ordinance and the exemption ordinance at their regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday April 4, 2007.
(Courtesy of Diana Woods)