Following a short public hearing Monday morning, the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt the proposed county budget for fiscal year 2018-2019. The vote was made behind a District 4 Supervisor Ron Wood motion and a District 5 Supervisor Janet Roby-Harper second.
No citizen addressed the board of supervisors during the public hearing, however, Tony Green, budget consultant for North Central Planning and Development District gave a brief summary of the upcoming budget.
According to Green, the board set the county’s millage rate at 130.21 mills, up 8.22 mils over last year. The millage increase is based on funding of the county’s newly-consolidated public schools – 45 mills county-wide, with an additional 2.7 mills to be paid only by those living in the former Winona Separate School District for debt retirement of a note used to renovate the high school auditorium parking lot, and make other capital improvements.
Funding of the public school district makes up 37 percent of the county’s annual budget.
The millage rate to fund the public schools increased this year countywide 5.52 mills over last year’s tax levy from the county. Those living in the former Winona Separate School District will be assessed the same millage rate as every other county resident, but may actually pay less school taxes than last year, Green said.
Last year, those living in the Montgomery County School District were levied 39 mills from the county to fund the school district. Those living in the Winona Separate School District were levied 50.6 mills by the City of Winona. However, the value of a mill is different if it is assessed by the county than if it is assessed by the city.
Montgomery County Chancery Clerk Ryan Wood estimated that those paying county taxes on a home with an assessed value of $100,000, a 5.52 mill increase an approximate increase of $55.20 each year on their tax bill
Amanda Gray, business manager for Winona-Montgomery Consolidated School District, said this year’s ad valorem tax request is less than $10,000 more than last year. The revenue request was determined by adding together ad valorem school funding from both the Montgomery County School District and the Winona Separate School District. That total, $2,640,314, was rounded to $2,650,000, the amount requested from the county in ad valorem school funding this year.
“We rounded up to the nearest $10,000,” Gray said.
The millage increase to fund the county’s public schools is the only millage increase proposed in the fiscal year 2019 budget for Montgomery County.
As for the county’s proposed budget, with the exception of the school district budget, things will look very similar to last year’s budget. According to Green, because the county’s value changed very little compared to last year, budget requests from department heads stayed level with last year.
Green said when comparing budget requests versus revenue, there is a projected $1,608 shortfall that will be covered by the county’s cash reserves.
In other county business:
• The board voted to allocate $6,000 to pay the jury following the October term of court.
• Henry Townsend addressed the board about the progress in constructing a Lodi Volunteer Fire Department. Townsend said organizers are hoping to start pouring the building’s foundation soon. He explained that there were many volunteers who could help with labor, but they did not have the equipment to form the slab. The board agreed to send the county’s road department out to assist.