LIBERTY — The Liberty City Council settled on a tax levy rate of about 90 cents per $100 of assessed valuation at the council’s Monday, Aug. 26 meeting. The state requires that cities set tax levy rates before Sept. 1.

Based on the rate, for a house assessed at $171,000 in 2019, the owner will pay $290 in property tax to the city. It will be an estimated cost increase of $5.40 for the year compared to last year.

At the council’s meeting in mid-August, council members debated whether to hit the state-allowed tax rate ceiling or keep the rate nearly revenue neutral.

Councilman Mike Hagan, who initially sought the slightly higher rate of roughly 91 cents per $100 assessed valuation, said that in continued conversation with other council members and city staff, he believed Mayor Lyndell Brenton’s comments about continuing to sow goodwill with citizens is necessary.

“For about the last four years, we have gone to voters and they have delivered,” Hagan said. “We also have a secure fund balance right now and the use tax revenue is coming in better that expected.”

Councilman Paul Jenness also changed his initial view as well.

Councilman Gene Gentrup went along with the rest of the council.

“I will support this, but it’s not wholehearted support,” he said. “I’m not sure this is a sustainable path to stay on.”

After the vote, Brenton said the levy rate is the lowest it has been in at least 20 years.

“It’s about stewardship of our citizens’ money and trust,” he said.

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at or 389-6630.

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