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The Lake News Online
  • GFPD lowers overall property levy

  • At a hearing Aug. 18, the Board of Directors of the Gravois Fire Protection District set its overall levy at a lower rate for 2014 due to an increase in assessed valuation.
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  • At a hearing Aug. 18, the Board of Directors of the Gravois Fire Protection District set its overall levy at a lower rate for 2014 due to an increase in assessed valuation.
    The revenues from the property tax levy will provide the main source of funding in 2015 for the 150-square-mile district. General operating funds cover all costs of district operations including insurance, fuel, maintenance, equipment replacement and all costs for personnel both volunteer and career.
    The rate for real and personal property for the general operating budget was set at $0.3919 cents per $100 of assessed evaluation, which is the same as the 2013 tax rate.
    On the rate for debt service to repay general obligation bonds, however, the rate was set at $0.2288 per $100 of assessed evaluation compared to $0.2453 last year. The new rate means a reduction of $0.0165 which would result in an overall reduction of taxes paid to the district.
    From new construction and reassessment from property improvements, the overall assessment went from $222,284,334.00 last year to $226,598,693.00 currently, according to district officials.
    This brought the projected general operating revenue to $888,040.28 for the 2015 budget year - up from $871,132.31 for 2014. The gain of $16,907.97 is a 0.019 percent gain, but is a positive indicator as the average growth for the past four years was only $9,209 annually, according to Fire Chief Ed Hancock.
    With average costs rising approximately 0.015 percent this leaves little room for funds for anything beyond maintaining operations, the chief stated in a press release. Constant fluctuation in costs for motor fuel and propane along with instability in the insurance market that resulted in a 60 percent increase in insurance over a two year period has had a negative impact on our operating budget, he added.
    The actual operating budget is reduced by 0.02 percent charged by county collectors for handling funds and an average of 0.06 percent non-collection annually.

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