Decatur County Council looking to increase tax rates again

first_imgEditorial note: Deanna Burkart took the Council seat occupied by Kenny Owens in 2018.  This has been reflected in the original story.  Greensburg, IN—In October of 2017, the Decatur County Council voted in a special use income tax that was to be used for the purpose of funding construction and operating costs of a proposed Decatur County Jail alongside a public safety tax intended to help fund courthouse security and more.It seems that they might once again be looking at another income tax increase to help fund County Departments. Decatur County Council President Ernie Gauck and Council member Danny Peters attended last week’s Greensburg City Council meeting requesting the City to appropriate new funds that will be generated from a tax rate increase.  They stated while they didn’t need any additional funding to build the jail, they did not have the funds in their operations and have “no idea” what staffing the new jail will cost. The County Council is looking at adding an increase between . 2 and .4 % increase.   According to the Greensburg Daily News article in 2017, the council noted that the tax could be reduced and that additional monies garnered by the tax could be put toward paying off the bond sooner. Auditor Janet Chadwell said the tax revenue would decrease the burden the county was facing related to the coverage of insurance costs.“We are drowning in health insurance costs,” Chadwell said.   Now, according to Gauck and Peters, adding an extra prosecutor to the Prosecutor’s office, an additional secretary to the Court, and expected jail staff for the new jail will require an additional $1 million that they are over budget for 2020. During the October 2017 meeting, the council formally adopted a .5 percent special use income tax alongside a .25 percent public safety income tax and a certified shares tax of .27 percent. The three taxes raise Decatur County’s income tax rate from 1.33 percent to 2.35 percent in an effort to cover jail costs – including construction, fees, and operational needs – as well as to fund several public safety initiatives.  That makes the income tax rate for Decatur County the 10th highest rate of the 92 counties in the state. With the suggested increase in tax rates, it will place us 6th or 4th highest rates in the state, respectively.The Decatur County Council will meet today at 9 am in the Decatur County Court House room 106.  The voting members in 2017 were Ernie Gauck, Larry Meyer, John Westhafer, Bill Metz, Danny Peters, and Kenneth Owens. Deanna Burkhardt took the seat occupied by Kenneth Owens in 2018.last_img

Leave a Reply