Four actions affect budget

Published 6:02 am Monday, August 21, 2006

By By JOHN EBY / Dowagiac Daily News
CASSOPOLIS – Placing park millage on the Nov. 7 ballot was just one of four actions the Board of Commissioners took Thursday night that impact the budget.
First of all, commissioners adopted tax rates for the 2006-07 budget beginning Oct. 1 following a public hearing that took place on Aug. 3.
Commissioners set 2006 tax rates of:
4.7524 mills for general operations.
0.9178 mills for the Council on Aging.
0.4851 mills for drug enforcement.
Commissioners also decided on how to use the county's shares of cigarette tax revenue and convention facility/liquor tax distribution.
Public Act 264 of 1987, the Health and Safety Fund Act, lets counties share in the four-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase, which means an estimated $34,743 to Cass County in 2006.
The county may use this money to reduce property taxes or 12/17s ($24,529) as an additional appropriation to the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department and 5/17th is ($10,214) to operate the county jail.
Counties share in the tri-county convention facilities tax levied under Act 106 of 1985 and the four-percent liquor tax levied under Act 58 of 198 when those revenues exceed the debt service requirements for convention facilities.
Cass County's estimated convention tax distribution for 2007 is $107,749.
The county may use this money to reduce property taxes or for general county operations.
The county opted to recognize the $107,749 as revenue in 2006-07, with half ($53,874.50) appropriated for substance abuse programs.
In other business, the heating coil in the air handler that heats and cools jail cell blocks failed.
Too thin to repair, it was replaced on an emergency basis.
County Administrator Terry Proctor intended to recommend the $8,862 for the coil replacement come from the $479,000 balance in the public improvement fund, but Commissioner Dale Lowe, R-Niles, instead suggested it come from the $15,601 balance in the jail facility fund, which is how the board approved it.