Monday, October 2, 2023
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Porter: Tax Increase For New School Could Not Happen Until Next Year

Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter said county commissioners could decide to issue a bond for the $15 million to build the upper grade wing of Park View School.

But the money would have to come out of the county’s general fund in the short term. Porter said the county cannot raise taxes inside a new budget year.

“They can hit fund balance to fund that, but the new commission will have to decide next year if they do do a bond issuance now as to how they will fund it,” Porter said. “Are they going to cut budgets to make up that $950,000 or will they need to do an increase in revenue.”

Porter said it would cost $950,000 a year to fund a $15 million bond. Porter said things could change in the economy over the next 11 months of this budget year that could reduce a possible tax increase. Porter estimated a four cent tax increase to raise the additional $15 million. Bond capacity also remains an unknown.

“That’s the question that’s hard to answer, because we don’t know what revenue is going to look like a year from now,” Porter said. “If sales tax were to go up another five or 10 percent like it did last year, the bonding capacity would probably be there to go ahead and do it. If sales tax were to go down, it wouldn’t be there. So it’s going to be something they have to look at this time next year.”

The county appropriated $44.6 million of a $98 million bond in July of last year to fund the school. But construction bids came in some $16 million over the projected costs.