County levy won't go upTom Reddick asked the Douglas County Board of Commissioners for two things on Tuesday. One was for a date for the upcoming annual Truth in Taxation meeting and the other was to set the preliminary levy for 2011.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
Tom Reddick asked the Douglas County Board of Commissioners for two things on Tuesday.
One was for a date for the upcoming annual Truth in Taxation meeting and the other was to set the preliminary levy for 2011.
Reddick, the county’s auditor/treasurer, told commissioners that the date for the Truth in Taxation meeting should take place the last part of November or the first part of December and that it needed to be held at 6 p.m. or later.
As for the levy, he told commissioners that this year’s budget was $23.3 million – which was a 6.3 percent increase from the $21.9 million budget in 2009.
Commissioner Jerry Johnson made a motion to set the 2011 budget at the exact same figure as it was this year, which would result in a 0 percent increase in the levy.
Commissioner Norm Salto seconded the motion, but asked for discussion.
One of the commissioners said, “That would put us at 0 percent increase for this year. That means we have to work a little harder.”
Paul Anderson, chair of the Douglas County Board, said the county is going to have a lot of work to do and it’s probably not going to be easy. “It’s going to hurt,” he said.
Commissioner Bev Bales said she has concerns over not increasing the budget because it doesn’t leave “much of a cushion.”
“Not having that cushion means there may have to be some layoffs,” she told the other commissioners.
Anderson reminded the other commissioners that once the levy is set, it can only be decreased; the commissioners can’t increase it.
“We can go down, but not up,” he said. “Once we set it, it stays.”
The vote was taken and it passed 4-1 – Commissioner Dan Olson voted against the action. Later, Anderson stated, “OK, the preliminary budget is set. We have a 0 percent increase for this year. This is going to hurt.”
The commissioners set the date for the Truth in Taxation meeting for Friday, December 3 at 6 p.m. at Douglas County Public Works.