WALKER -- Cass County Board Tuesday approved a maximum 2005 levy 11.28 percent higher than 2004, but the levy rate used to calculate property taxes will be 6.7 percent lower in 2005.
Part of the reason for the 2005 proposed levy increase is the fact the county will receive 11.33 percent less in state aid support this year.
Owners of new construction built within the last year and those whose property values rose this year will pay the difference. Those whose property values remained the same or rose only slightly likely could see a reduction in their 2005 property taxes.
The county budget committee pared department head's requests for $15,726,609, which would have meant an 18.25 percent levy increase, down to $14,766,609 in the recommendation the board adopted Tuesday. The 2004 levy was $13,269,623.
The board can adopt the $14,766,609 as the final levy or lower it following a Dec. 2 public hearing on the county budget and levy.
Among the items department heads requested, but the budget committee recommended against were the expansion of the boat and water safety department, four new jailers, a new assistant jail administrator, a separately published county newsletter and support to agencies not directly operated by county government, including the Cass County Economic Development Corp. and the Family Safety Network.
A few county equipment requests also were cut from the 2005 budget the board tentatively approved Tuesday.
The budget currently does include $20,200 remodeling and equipment costs for court administration and $17,000 remodeling for building and grounds department, as well as adding a three-quarter position in building and grounds.
Another $57,454 is proposed for equipment and data conversion in the recorder's office. The budget currently allows for $68,000 in professional services for the highway department and permits the sheriff to purchase an $8,000 radar trailer.
These items, if approved in the final budget, would be paid from the county's fund balance or funding sources other than the property tax levy.
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