Columbus’ property-tax rate to remain largely flat

Columbus’ property-tax rate will largely remain flat for 2017. Jamie Brinegar, the city’s finance director, explained during Tuesday night’s city council meeting that figures provided by Indiana’s Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) late last year showed an 11-percent decrease in the city’s tax rate. Brinegar, as well as Mayor Jim Lienhoop, stressed then that these figures did not accurately reflect the city’s position, as they expected the rate to ultimately remain flat. Brinegar explains…


Brinegar says that the city took the DLGF’s recommendation and published that organization’s figures. Brinegar adds that he, and Clerk-Treasurer Luann Welmer, were in constant contact with the DLGF since those initial figures were released in an effort to make sure that the city wouldn’t be surprised when the actual numbers were made available…


Brinegar explains that the DLGF was using very conservative estimates all around…


In addition, Brinegar says that the DLGF estimated the city’s tax levy amount to be $28.2 million dollars, some $1.1 million less than the most recent levy estimate.

The city council voted Tuesday night to approve a resolution asking the DLGF to release the full levy amount to the city. Mayor Lienhoop, along with several members of the city council, indicated that they would like to see that additional money (approximately $1.1 million) used to pay for needed road and infrastructure improvements.

Brinegar says that some property owners, who have not yet hit their property tax cap, could see a 0.1-percent increase in their tax rate. The mayor says that increase equates to about three-dollars for a $200,000 home.

City officials say they expect final figures from the DLGF to be made available in April.