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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Tax rate hearing, budget session set for tonight

  • The Neosho City Council will continue their review of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2014 in a work session to be held at 6 p.m. this evening at the Neosho Civic Center, 109 W. Main St.
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  • The Neosho City Council will continue their review of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2014 in a work session to be held at 6 p.m. this evening at the Neosho Civic Center, 109 W. Main St.
    However, before council begins digging into the budget draft, the city will first hold a public hearing on the city's proposed property tax rate.
    Last August, the city's property tax rate was set at the allowable levy ceiling, at .4256 cents per $100 assessed valuation, the maximum allowed at the time, based on the city's total assessed property value.
    The city's property tax rate was set at zero from 1997 until 2010, when overspending from a prior city administration resulted in a financial crisis, forcing drastic cuts to the city's fire and police personnel.
    Due to the city's financial troubles and public opinion moving in favor of the property tax, the council voted 4-1 in Aug. 2010 to bring back the tax, which was set at .4225 per $100 of assessed valuation at that time.
    Based on the proposed 2014 budget, the property tax has brought in a total $421,600 in revenue for the current fiscal year as of June 30.
    The draft also budgets $400,000 in revenue from the city's property tax for the coming fiscal year, the same amount as was budgeted for fiscal year 2013.
    The property tax goes into the city's general revenue fund, which funds several city accounts, including the Neosho Police Department, as well as a significant portion of the Neosho Fire Department's expenses.
    The public is invited to speak to the council regarding the rate in this evening's hearing.
    Following the public hearing, council members will pick up where they left off in last Tuesday's budget work session, and will begin their review of the golf course budget, on page 50 of the 80-page draft budget.
    The golf course budget shows an estimated $363,800 in revenue for 2014, and a proposed $465,692 in expenses.
    The $101,892 shortfall could be made up with transfers from other financing sources, including the parks operating fund and the economic development account, based on the draft budget.
    Council members are set to meet for budget work sessions every Tuesday this month, with their first session held July 29.
    In their first work session, the council reviewed the general revenue fund, fire sales tax, drainage sales tax, and parks sales tax accounts.
    In their most recent hour-long work session, held last Tuesday before their regularly scheduled council meeting, council members made it through the proposed street sales tax and police donations accounts, though much of the session was spent discussing the city's plans to spend money from reserves to supplement parts of the 2014 budget.
    Councilmen Steve Hart and David Ruth expressed concerns with reserve spending, while Mayor Richard Davidson noted that the city had been compiling the reserves with plans to help with funding in the coming year.
    Page 2 of 2 - The council is expected to have a budget ready to vote on in September, and must have it in place by the start of the city's new fiscal year on Oct. 1.

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