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Neligh residents will see little change in the taxes this year thanks to growth in the community.
The City Council approved a slight levy increase last week. How slight is it?
“It’s literally twenty-five thousandths of a point higher. Not very significant, almost maintaining the same amount,” City Clerk Dana Klabenes told council members.
The general asking levy was approved at .471438, plus bond indebtedness of .2849974 for a total levy of .756436.
Klabenes told the council it was important for the City to remain slightly above 45 cents with its general levy.
“As long as that figure stays above 45 cents, then we don’t run the risk of losing some of our allocations or our municipal equalization funds, which are really the only two state receipts that we can qualify for,” Klabenes said. “We’re sitting OK. We’re about two cents above there, so as evaluations change, as our tax asking changes, we have a little room to keep that consistent.”
The budget and levy was approved 3-0 after a motion by Leonard Miller and second by Dale Wilkinson. Steph Wanek was not present for the meeting.
During the hearing, council member Ted Hughes asked about the City’s certified valuation of $69,309,395, which Klabenes said increased $2.69 million due to growth.
“It allows for a lower tax asking, but you’ll see that our levy is almost maintained at the same amount,” Klabenes said.
She added, “Some entities did not have a valuation increase, but the City of Neligh did see that. So we had some good growth to add to our healthy economy and allow for a little bit more asking but at a lower levy.”
Hughes asked for clarification on the annexation valuations. Klabenes said those values were included last year, so this change was due to industry, construction and growth in the community.
“That’s a good sign of growth in our community,” Mayor Joe Hartz said.
During an explanation of the budget, Klabenes said the City was required to list a capital improvement project in order to be in compliance with the ratio and percentages. The project was derived from the street and intersection improvements needed.
“We absolutely must make sure that we have those street intersections done next year to help us stay in compliance - make these percentages and numbers comply with the state auditor’s budget,” she said.
Klabenes encouraged the council to put that into an October or November agenda to lock it in for a spring or summer project.
Neligh qualifies for $34,654 in interlocal agreements but actually receives $93,457.
“We actually have more interlocal agreements we’re able to utilize and capitalize on than what we qualify for, and that’s a wonderful thing,” Klabenes said.
Earlier in the meeting, the council approved the amended budget. Klabenes told the council members the amended budget included revising the expenditures to $7,793,234 due to refinancing of two bonds (street and electric generation bonds) to secure a lower interest rate.