City council approves annual levy

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CLINTON — On Monday, the Clinton City Council held its annual levy public hearing and passed the levy for the new year.

“According to the Supervisor of Assessments, our annual equalized assessed valuation (EAV), which is what the levy is based on, is just a hair over 3 percent,” reported Tom Edmunds, Commissioner of Accounts and Finance.

Edmunds added there were credits because of the homeowners’ valuation and seniors’ exemption.

“So, that lowers the assessed valuation a little,” he said.

The levy is based on 3.05 percent, per the Truth in Taxation requirement.

“There is no requirement to have Truth in Taxation or to even have this hearing because we’re not over 5 percent,” Edmunds said.  “However, we like to always have it anyway.”

Taking into consideration the city’s actual levy for the new year, the effective tax rate will be .21 percent.

“Or, about a fifth of one percent,” Edmunds said.  “Whereas the dollars would be the same, we are switching those from the Social Security levy to the fireman’s pension fund.”

He said a substantial increase was needed in the fireman’s pension fund to take advantage of better investment opportunities if it gets over $2 million.

“Where we’re taking that from essentially is the amount that would have gone to the hospital in Social Security, but they have an especially good cash position,” Edmunds said.

Edmunds said the hospital’s cash position was the best it had been since he has served on the council.

Additional business

Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements Kenney Buchanan said the city was completing brush pick-up this week.  Brush pick-up will be suspended until March unless a winter storm requires crews to be out.

Also, the city’s leaf vac is about to be put away for the season.  Homeowners who still have leaves to put out for pick-up will need to bag them first.

Commissioner of Health and Public Safety Dan Ballenger said the city recently removed playground equipment from Downy Park because it had become unsafe.  He said they were looking at some alternatives to get equipment back up in the park.

The city also placed on file for public inspection $100,000 for the summer 2019 motor fuel tax (MFT) street maintenance program and three bids for brush grinding services.