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City of Neosho determines 2015 property tax rate - KOAM TV 7

City of Neosho determines 2015 property tax rate

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In a 3 to 2 vote tonight, the Neosho City Council finalized a property tax levy amount for the fiscal year 2015.

City officials say the task of determining the property tax levy was more difficult this year.

"The state legislature has passed some sales tax cuts that the governor has vetoed, which could cut $150,000 to $200,000 from the city's budget," said Richard Davidson, Mayor for City of Neosho.  "We're really not exactly sure."

Davidson says because lawmakers could override the governor's veto in September, city officials have no way of knowing the impact to sales tax revenues until after the August deadline for the property tax levy.

"We're having to try to predict a little bit of what we think the legislature is going to do, understand what that tax cut could mean for us and make sure that we don't cut our taxes so much that we can't maintain enough to operate," Davidson said.

The property tax levy for this past year was about forty cents per $100 of assessed valuation, which is about three cents lower than the property tax ceiling set by the state auditor's office.

"We have the discretion to put that levy anywhere between forty-two and zero cents," Davidson said. "We can never go above what that ceiling is."

Some wanted rates as high as possible.

"As long as the hike goes towards helping the town, then raise it up," said Jason Cogbill, Neosho resident.

But others did not want the rate raised at all.

"I don't think there is a single person who is going to say that they absolutely want their rates to go up," said Justin Carnahan, Neosho resident.  "At the same time, if it's going to be able to make sure that things are taken care of in Neosho, in the way that the town deserves for it to be taken care of, then I think that's going to benefit everybody."

The opinions of the city council members were also split.

The final compromised agreement was to neither raise or lower the levy, but to keep the same rate as fiscal year 2014, of nearly forty cents.

City officials will now work on finalizing next year's budget, due at the end of September.

The new fiscal year begins October 1.
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