TABOR will cause city mill levy decrease next year |

TABOR will cause city mill levy decrease next year

Christina M. Currie

The Craig City Council approved the final reading of an ordinance Tuesday that set the 2000 budget, and it’s good news for property owners in Craig.

Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) limitations forced the city to lower the mill levy for the 2000 budget because revenue anticipated by the city exceeds revenue allowed by TABOR. The process is referred to as a mill levy credit, which assumes the city keeps its current mill levy, but assesses a lower rate to make up the difference.

Residents will see a 1.628-mill decrease from the current 18.996 mills assessed. One mill equals 1/1,000 of a cent or $1 of tax for every $1,000 of assessed valuation.

For the average taxpayer, the savings is minimal. According to Moffat County Assessor Dennis Shanahan, owners of a $100,000 home would pay $185 in city taxes under the 1999 mill levy. That amount would be decreased to $169 under the reduced mill levy. Owners of commercial property would see a larger decrease. A business valued at $100,000 would be assessed $550 under the 1999 mill levy and $503 under the reduced mill levy.

Based on a formula for growth and inflation, TABOR limits city revenue growth to 5.15 percent for 2000. The 2000 city budget shows a growth of 7.87 percent in revenue. Without TABOR limitations, the city could collect $772,005 in property tax revenue, Finance Director Bruce Nelson said. With the limits, the city is restricted to collectiing $705,805 in property tax, a difference of about $66,000.

The impact won’t be felt by most residents, Nelson said, because the reduction is so small. “If we would’ve left the mill the same, most people would have paid about the same,” he said.

This is the first year the city has had to adjust its mill levy because of TABOR restrictions. In past years, growth and inflation have allowed for bigger budget increases.

Reducing the city mill levy is temporary. It could increase in 2001 if needed, but it cannot go beyond 18.996 mills unless approved by voters.

According to Nelson, the reduction and increase of a mill levy within certain parameters is legal under TABOR in the form of the mill levy credit. If the city does not decrease its mill levy, it would have to refund $66,000. By reducing the mill instead of opting for a refund, the city saves time and money, Nelson said.

The decrease will affect 2000 property valuations.

Old mill on $100,000 X 9,740 X mill $185

.017.368 $169 then

$100,000 X .0974 (set by legislature) assessment ratio residential property

city tax tax only.

city tax only.

29 percent for business property versus about 9 percent.

Business at 100,000Business at 100,000

Business at 100,000

29,000 assessed x .018996 = $550

x .017368 = $503. on commercial property.

mill levy credit for the year. not actually lower, but give credit.

leave it at ??? but only charge the 17 mills so can go back.leave it at ??? but only charge the 17 mills so can go back.

leave it at ??? but only charge the 17 mills so can go back.

most local gvents arent going to just lower a mill levy to be good old boys.