Pulaski County Officials to Research Tax Adjustments, Spending Cuts, As Fiscal Planning Continues

Pulaski County officials may soon be asking state lawmakers to help balance out the county’s tax structure. The county currently has one of the highest income tax rates in the state but relatively low property taxes. But fiscal planning consultant Jeffrey Peters told the county council and commissioners Monday that simply replacing income taxes with property taxes isn’t always possible.

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First Part of Fiscal Plan Presented to Pulaski County Council, Commissioners

Fiscal Planning Consultant Jeffrey Peters (standing) discusses Pulaski County’s finances with the county council and commissioners

Pulaski County could see annual funding shortfalls of $2.7 million within the next few years, if it remains on its current financial path. Consultant Jeffrey Peters presented the first part of a fiscal plan to the county council and commissioners Monday.

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Pulaski County Council Decides to Hold Off on Staffing Increases while Awaiting Fiscal Plan

Pulaski County Council: back row: Mike Tiede, Kathi Thompson, Brian Young; front row: Scott Hinkle, Rudy DeSabatine, Jay Sullivan (not pictured: Ken Boswell)

Pulaski County’s long-awaited fiscal plan is set to be unveiled next month, but in the meantime, several departments’ requests for additional help will remain on hold. Three department heads were scheduled to ask the county council for staffing increases Monday, but at the start of the meeting, Council Member Kathi Thompson said that fiscal planning consultant Jeffrey Peters has asked council members to hold off.

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Fiscal Planning Consultant to Pulaski County Council: ‘You’re on a Track That You Can’t Continue On’

Pulaski County’s tax structure is not sustainable. That’s what fiscal planning consultant Jeffrey Peters told the county council during a public hearing Monday. “You’re on a track that you can’t continue on,” he said, “and those income taxes are going to have to be shifted around in some fashion, in order to get you back to an equilibrium to provide services under a revenue model that does not eat up all your cash over time.”

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Pulaski County Council, Commissioners Hear Fiscal Planning Proposals

Pulaski County officials continue to consider hiring an outside consultant to help put together a fiscal plan for the county. The county council and commissioners heard presentations from two firms Monday, but no final action was taken by the commissioners. County officials have been looking at adjusting the county’s tax structure for over a year. It currently relies heavily on income taxes, which is expected to become an increasing problem as the county’s population continues to decline.

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