Smithville sales tax rate lowered

With a finalized tax levy set, the city of Smithville is beginning work on a proposed budget. Finance Director Dan Toleikis presented a preliminary proposed budget to alderman Aug. 20.

SMITHVILLE — Smithville's property tax levy rate will be lower for the coming year from Nov. 1, 2019 to Oct. 31, 2020, after aldermen set the rate to nearly 45 cents for every $100 of assessed valuation. The amount is 3 cents lower than 2018's rate.

Smithville Finance Director Dan Toleikis said the city rolled the rate back due to the Hancock Amendment, which imposes restrictions on the amount of personal income used to fund government. Tax-funded entities, Toleikis said, are not allowed to receive more than a percentage equal to the Consumer Price Index in additional revenue. This year's CPI is 1.9%.

This year's levy rate will generate an estimated $819,052 in tax revenue for the city over the course of the year.

With a total assessed valuation for 2019 of $182,661,090 including dollars from new construction, valuation is up 11.69% from $163,540,389 in 2018.

Toleikis said while the city has also taken on bond debt, which would allow the city to set a debt service levy, it opted not to. He said the city is keeping that levy at zero because the amount of money being brought in from a recent voter-approved, half-cent capital improvement sales tax is enough to make city debt payments without instituting an additional levy amount.

"We have enough sales tax coming in next year not to need that property tax at this time," he said.

"Our board has been very cognizant of that and wants to set a reserve in the debt service fund," City Administrator Cynthia Wagner said. "Typically, that debt is structured so there are two fiscal payments, one in March and one in September. ... The board expects that going into the future, our reserve funds of the debt service fund will always include a reserve equal or greater than the March payment. So we have that covered."

Northwest Editor Sean Roberts can be reached at sean.roberts@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6606.​

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