Monticello to address tax rates
Jul 02, 2008 | 1399 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The City of Monticello faces a cash crunch, caused in part by the loss of a .5 percent resort community sales tax. As of July 1, the City can no longer collect the sales tax, which has generated approximately $70,000 a year in tax revenue.

The Monticello City Council has discussed a number of options, including the implementation of two new sales taxes that would help alleviate the loss of the resort community sales tax. If approved, a transportation sales tax and an arts and parks sales tax would generate .4 percent in sales tax, offsetting 80 percent of the loss of the resort community tax.

In addition, the City will hold Truth in Taxation hearings in July in order to discuss property tax rates. While the city proposes to keep the tax rate the same as in 2007-08, the hearings are necessary because the same rate will result in approximately $4,000 in additional property tax revenue. This is the result of growth in city property values in the past year.

The Council moved to keep the rates the same at the June 25 council meeting, thus triggering the required Truth in Taxation hearing. State law requires that the hearings be held whenever tax rates result in increased revenue.

“We need to do this,” said Mayor Doug Allen. “If we drop rates 15 years in a row, we end up with our backs against a wall. I don’t think we can afford it.”

The Council approved the tax rate by a 4-1 vote, but not after a great deal of discussion.

In other business at the June 25 meeting, Winn Westcott discussed progress on restoring the Big Four tractor and preparations for the Pioneer Days tractor pull. Westcott said that the tractor should be ready for the Pioneer Day parade. “It may start at the beginning of the parade and end at the tail end of the parade, but we hope to have it running,” he said.

In addition to the tractor pull, the group is also considering lawn mower races

The Council also discussed whether or not the tractor will travel to tractor shows in other areas. They expressed concern about insurance, and in protecting the community’s sizable investment in the tractor

Mayor Allen initiated a discussion about the fireworks display during the Pioneer Day celebration. “Our celebration takes a hit when we don’t have fireworks,” said Allen. “While public safety is a concern, too often we cancel the fireworks because it is too dry, then the monsoon season arrives and it is too late.”

The Council discussed a number of issues related to the fireworks, including fires on federal land, adjacent property owners, stress on the fire department, and illegal fireworks.”

“Legal use of fireworks does not cause fires,” said Allen. “Irresponsible use causes the problem.”

In other matters, the Council discussed allowing bicycle traffic on the Loyds Lake trail.
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