By Ed Salerno, Reporter
A
good deal of open honest discussion regarding the reality of the dire financial condition of the City of Butler’s finances at the Oct. 2, 2017 meeting of the City Council led to a decision that required a tie breaker vote by Mayor Greg McElfresh.
The basis of the decision was whether to raise taxes or not to raise taxes. Mayor McElfresh made a point about last years steep decline in assessment values for the properties in the city which led to a $17,000 decrease in revenue for the city. The mayor also noted that this year’s assessment was a bit higher which led to a higher state determined compensating rate for Real Estate and Personal Property.
The real estate compensating rate is $0.854 per $100 dollars of assessed value or $854 for a home assessed at $100,000. If the city choses to take the additional 4% it would bring the rate up to $0.888 per $100 of assessed value or $888 on a home assessed at $100,000. Here is where the discussion settled, whether to take the compensating rate or the 4%. The compensating rate for personal property was $1.725 and $1.794 for the extra 4%. the same concerns were voiced for it as well.
When Councilwoman
Terry Bush said, “I am not voting to raise taxes.” The mayor pointed out, ”Just by taking the compensating rate you will be raising taxes. That is the rate mandated by the state. Councilman Mac McElfresh said. “Every year since I have been on council we have had to raise taxes just by taking the compensating rate.” Councilman Herb Clark said, “This is our only way to increase our revenue.” City Attorney Joey Verax said, “This is all a matter of public perception.” Councilwoman Bonnie Bonar agreed with Clark. The mayor made a point of saying, “This is your city and mine and I am okay with whatever you choose to do.”
The vote came down to.. See complete story @ falmouthoutlook.com