Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Reestablishing CCD not expected to drive up overall tax rate, Evans says

Back To Front Page

By JEFF SCHULTZ

Porter County Commissioner President John Evans, R-North, said that reestablishing the property tax rate for the County’s Cumulative Capital Development fund, or CCD, does not mean his board is pushing for a tax increase.

As Evans explains it, it’s merely “a housekeeping item” to shift funds in the County’s overall tax rate which is made up of rates from several other levied funds such as reassessment, cumulative bridge, health and the general fund.

By reestablishing the CCD, the Commissioners will be able to move capital items out of the general fund, thus lowering the rate there, and pay for those out of the CCD fund.

Evans said reestablishing the CCD rate hasn’t been done in a decade or so and the rate has been static at .018 for the past few years. It is advised by the state that the CCD be acted on every year, he said.

Based on a suggestion made in a comprehensive finance report by the financial accounting firm Umbaugh & Associates, the Commissioners are considering resetting the CCD property tax rate not to exceed $0.0233, or two and one-third cents for each $100 of assessed valuation, which Evans said is the maximum the state will allow.

But whether the total rate will go up or down depends on the County’s total assessed value. The higher the AV, the more the rate will decrease, said Evans. He expects the rate to decline next year when the AV of Porter Regional Hospital is added in.

A public hearing, which is required of Counties under state law to reestablish the rate, is scheduled for the July 15 Commissioners meeting. The hearing mistakenly appeared on Tuesday’s agenda as the Commissioners only intended to approve the notice for the hearing.

The CCD fund covers purchases for repairs and maintenance to County buildings, roads and right-of-ways, information technology, equipment and police vehicles.

If the Commissioners adopt the new CCD rate, it must also be approved by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance. The fund would be levied beginning with taxes payable in 2015.

The state’s deadline for counties to reestablish their CCD rates is Aug. 1. The rate can be set by either the Commissioners or the County Council.

Appointments

At the start of the meeting, the Commissioners announced their newest appointments to three local boards.

They are Howard Struble for the Porter County Airport Authority, Gwen Rinkenberger for the Juvenile Services Building Corporation, and Stu Summers for the Porter County Library Board of Trustees.

Evans complemented the many individuals who applied. “We really do appreciate those people willing to give their time and energy,” he said.

Purchases and agreements

In other matters, the Commissioners approved various maintenance requests from departments.

Mike Jabo of DLZ Indiana presented new quotes for the lingering roof restoration project at the Porter County Museum housed in the Old Jail. Based on availability, the Commissioners approved Jabo’s recommendation for Maris and Son Roofing of Hobart for approximately $89,000 to shingle and restore the roof using CCD money.

The Board agreed DLZ should evaluate roof problems at the Juvenile Detention center. DLZ will be paid with money left over from a previous building project.

Also, the Commissioners approved $980 for a security camera in the waiting area at the Juvenile Detention Center and $3,600 for the purchase of a new stove after Director Alison Cox said the current stove was blamed for a number of gas leaks.

In aid of the parks department’s application for grants with Indiana American Water, all three commissioners approved sending a letter of support.

The board will also continue its agreement with Barns & Thornburg law offices to lobby in the Indiana General Assembly. The agreement is for $5,000 per month when the lawmakers are in session, and an hourly rate for other times.

Resolutions

As the County Council did last week, the Commissioners passed a resolution backing a push by veteran groups for lawmakers in the Indiana General Assembly to provide funding toward new ways to treat traumatic brain-related injuries.

The board voted 3-0 on the resolution recommending the state explore remediation, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, for veterans with TBI to improve their lives.

A second resolution touched on a topic the Commissioners addressed last month concerning heavy vehicles using County roadways. The Commissioners voted not to allow increased weights on County vehicles as studies have shown larger trucks and semis are more often involved in dangerous crashes.

The Commissioners just recently revamped ordinances, creating tougher fines and regulations on heavy vehicles.

 

 

Posted 7/2/2014