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.
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
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
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.
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.
deadline for counties to reestablish their CCD rates is Aug. 1. The rate can
be set by either the Commissioners or the County Council.
At the start of the
meeting, the Commissioners announced their newest appointments to three
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.
the many individuals who applied. “We really do appreciate those people
willing to give their time and energy,” he said.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
just recently revamped ordinances, creating tougher fines and regulations on