Sunday, October 31, 2004

Loveland rolls back property tax 1 mill

By Sheila McLaughlin
Enquirer staff writer

LOVELAND - Property owners will get a 1-mill break on their tax bills next year (from 3.15 mills to 2.15 mills) thanks to an unexpected windfall from estate taxes.

But the decision didn't come without a lengthy debate among council members who differed on whether the city should save the $400,000, or share some of it with residents.

Council members Dan Daly and Todd Osborne wanted to sock the money away to help fund capital improvements that aren't in next year's budget, and use it as a financial cushion for unexpected expenses. They voted against the tax break.

Daly suggested that officials should look at some type of reimbursement to residents after they approved the budget for 2005.

The issue had to be decided in a hurry because local governments must certify tax rates to the county auditor by early November.

Council members also had discussed temporarily suspending utility or sanitation rates. But they decided on the property tax reduction because it seemed simpler.

The rollback means that property owners, on average, will see a reduction of about $35 per $100,000 of valuation, assistant city manager Tom Carroll said. It also means the city's general fund will receive about $240,000 less from taxes next year.


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