Scott County Council Adopts Maximum Tax Levy | Wild news

The average Scott County homeowner will see an increase in the county’s share of their tax bill below the maximum tax levy approved by county officials this week.

The Scott County Council of Commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve the 2022 maximum levy of about $ 81.28 million, a 3.99% increase from the 2021 levy.

The average property with a market value of around $ 358,000 will see an average increase of $ 41.42, depending on the county.

The county council can choose to cut spending when the final levy is passed in December, but the levy cannot be increased after this week’s approval.

Danny Lenz, deputy county administrator and chief financial officer, said the county’s financial outlook was affected earlier this year when revenue estimates were well below the projected increase in revenue factored into the county’s financial modeling .

The reduced revenue estimates helped raise the county’s projected base levy to 6.19% earlier this year.

To adjust the base levy to 3.99%, Lenz said planned spending was reduced by more than $ 900,000 and budgeted revenue was increased by $ 800,000.

With less room in the budget for unforeseen expenses, the county may have to dip into its balance of funds to fill in the gaps next year, according to Lenz.

The county may end 2022 in the red, he added.

Pressure on departmental staff

The 3.99% increase adds full-time positions, such as two correctional officers, but eliminates more than $ 1.3 million in other ministerial requests, according to county documents.

Staffing requests excluded from the proposed budget include an assistant director of emergency management, four additional emergency dispatchers, four correctional officers, one probation officer, one community corrections supervisor, one child mental health case manager and several other positions.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Lenz said the county is exhausting its options to reduce the levy in a sustainable manner without significantly reducing programs.

If the county board does not favor the increases, Lenz said officials will need to strike up a conversation about which programs and services will be cut rather than asking existing staff to continue doing more work with less support. and resources.

The county is already struggling to hire and turnover is at alarming rates, he said.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Commissioners Tom Wolf, Mike Beard and Dave Beer urged county staff to continue to look for ways to reduce the levy before final adoption in December.

County administrator Lezlie Vermillion warned that any decrease in the levy would likely lead to significant changes in the county’s level of service with some programs, such as community corrections and social services, already under pressure.

The county board will discuss the budget again next month. A vote to adopt the final levy is scheduled for December 14.

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