just says no to increasing tax levy
says county needs to 'stay lean'
Adecision by the Platte County Commission to maintain
the current tax levy may force the county to seek budget
cuts for the 2006 fiscal year.
On Thursday, commissioners voted unanimously to keep
the levy at four cents per $100 of assessed valuation,,
the same rate that the former county commission decreased
from ten cents in 2004.
Over the last 11 years, the county has seen the levy
decrease from 19 cents in 1994 to the current rate of
Since that reduction of the property tax from ten cents
to four cents in 2004, County Auditor Sandra Thomas said
the county lost approximately $900,000 in revenue.
Thomas is estimating that the amount of income will go
up about $50,000 in 2006 because of assessed valuation.
When we do the 2006 budget, we will probably be
down nearly $850,000 from the 2004 budget, said
Government needs to live within its means,
said Second District Commissioner Jim Plunkett. By
keeping the levy at four cents, the message to taxpayers
is that government needs to be more efficient and lean.
Thomas said in order for the county government to live
within its means in 2006, some budget cuts may need to
I think there will have to be decisions made through
the budget, said Thomas. Were going
to have to set some priorities and there will have to
be some cuts.
Thomas estimated that the countys 2006 budget may
reflect at least $500,000 in cuts.
However, despite Thomas current estimate, she said
certain factors will play into the final budget numbers
for the county.
There will be some things (sales and use tax numbers)
that will happen this year that will have some bearing
on how we end up this year, stated Thomas.
Thomas will take the first draft of the new years
budget to the county commission on Nov. 15.
At that time I will make recommendations to the
commissioners about where I think they should make cuts,
Nearly each year, the county experiences a few cuts in
its budget, but according to Thomas this years budget
will reflect a few more cuts than the county usually sees.
While Thomas is unsure of what recommendations she will
bring with her to the Nov. 15 meeting, she believes the
sheriffs department will be one of the departments
that could see cuts.
The sheriffs department will probably see
the greatest impact because they have the largest budget,
said Thomas. I cant say for certain thats
where it will end up being and I dont know for certain
that all of the cuts will go there.
Plunkett admitted that the county may be forced to look
at a few layoffs due to budget constraints.
There may potentially be some layoffs. Its
up to each individual officeholder who has to submit a
budget that will allow Sandra to present a balanced budget
to us, said Plunkett.
According to Plunkett, his decision to not raise the
levy came down to his concern for the taxpayers.
We need to stay lean as a government just like
we would in a business, stated Plunkett. As
a business owner, I dont have the luxuries of setting
my revenues like a county does. As the county government
we could have raised revenues to match expenses, but we
absolutely would not consider doing that.