Kosciusko County Commissioners do support eliminating the state’s personal property tax and they want to let elected officials know how they feel.
They do not, however, support additional local tax to replace it.
Sue Ann Mitchell, county treasurer, asked commissioners Tuesday to sign a resolution drafted by Association of Indiana Counties regarding the proposed bill.
Indiana General Assembly is proposing to eliminate the personal property tax. Kosciusko County taxing units stand to lose $10 million if the bill passes and nothing replaces it. Commissioner Bob Conley said, “We can’t afford to lose $10 million.”
A calculation indicates local governments receive 15 percent of tax revenue from personal property taxes, said Mitchell adding, “I don’t think taking this away is beneficial.”
Commissioner Brad Jackson said he is reluctant to sign the resolution because his concern is where the replacement money would come from.
Instead, Jackson and Conley agreed to draft a letter, instead of a resolution, to be sent to five elected officials representing Kosciusko County: State Senators Carlin Yoder, Ryan Mishler and Randy Head, as well as State Representatives Rebecca Kubacki and David Wolkins.
Mitchell also gave a report on county investments. She said the county has not made a lot of interest on its investments. “It’s not good,” she stressed. Only $75,000 has been made in interest. She said certificate of deposit rates are somewhat better now noting, “We are getting a better rate.” Jackson asked if the county could get an even better rate, possibly from municipal bonds, and Mitchell said, “No, not right now.”
Also, the board elected commissioner Ron Truex to be president of the county’s board of finance. The board also signed the rules and procedures for the treasurer’s office for investment of county funds, effective Jan. 1.
In addition, Mitchell said only 78 percent of property taxes have been collected since 2007 and nearly $7 million has gone uncollected. “That’s a lot of money,” said Mitchell.
Collections include real property, mobile homes and personal property types of taxes. She said her office has sent letters to property owners and have done all they can do to collect them. If taxes aren’t paid by July, those properties will be eligible for a tax sale. Mobile homes especially are a big issue, she said. Last year, personal property was 14.79 percent of all taxes billed.
Also, Mitchell reported there has been $20,490.80 in cancelled checks written since 2009. These are checks the county has written people have not cashed.
Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed to reimburse the county $453,758 for the cost of the recent winter weather cleanup. “This is well over the threshold of $270,000,” said Ed Rock, emergency management director for the county.
Also, the board signed approval for an emergency management reimbursement grant for $5,179.77. The money will be used to buy promotional materials and other necessary items.
A rezoning petition for Dr. Edward and Deborah Boyts was approved. The couple, who live in the Chapman Lake area, want to rezone a one-acre tract of ground from agriculture to agriculture II and build an accessory storage building, a barn.
In other news, the board,
• signed Kosciusko Area Bus Service’s fourth quarter claims to be sent to INDOT.
• heard county government will have a booth at the builder’s association home show March 7-9, at a cost of $150.
Commissioners are President Jackson, Conley and Truex. The next meeting is a 9 a.m. Feb. 11.