Originally Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2012, 9:48 pm
Last Updated: Nov. 12, 2012, 9:49 pm

Colona raises property tax levy

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By Lisa Hammer, rlhammer@qconline.com

COLONA -- Alderman voted 5-0 to increase the city's property tax levy for this year's property taxes payable next year by 20 percent to $441,762.

The increase means the owner of a $100,000 home would pay about $40 more in the city portion of his property taxes.The increase will prompt a truth-in-taxation hearing at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at city hall.

Aldermen Mike King and Mary Carlson were absent for Monday's meeting.

Budget director Lories Graham offered options of increasing taxes by 10 percent to 30 percent, noting the increases wouldn't provide all the money needed by the city's budget.The city's equalized assessed valuation has fallen due to lower home values, generating less tax money, she said.

The police pension funding likely will be $40,000 short with the city going from two retirees to four, she said. Overall, the city could be $150,000 short without any "tweaking," she said, noting Mayor Danny McDaniel able to trim the shortfall to about $120,000.

"There is a dilemma every year making ends meet in various departments with the general fund," she said."We're still going to have a tough go coming up with this money.Part of the problem is the state is not paying us."

The council on Monday also:

-- Approved Shive Hattery's agreement for a $24,200 preliminary civil engineering bid to improve the sewer crossing over the canal at Third Street. The culvert runs 450 feet to connect with Greenway Avenue.

-- Directed Mayor Danny McDaniel to appoint a successor to fill the term of Ald. Clinton Sullivan, who has left Colona.

-- Noted a judge has ruled Colona must issue a building permit to Charlie Phillips for 218 2nd St., but the city can have its building inspector visit to ensure he has a licensed contractor do 80 percent of the work.

-- Learned the mayor presented a medallion from the city to WWII veteran Phillip Clong for his service.

-- Named the former Church of God at 617 8th St. the Colona Activity Center.