Pulaski County Council to Hold Public Hearing, Decide on Tax Adjustments Tonight

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

The Pulaski County Council will vote on adjustments to the county’s tax structure tonight. Under the proposed ordinance, wage earners who live in Pulaski County would pay a slightly lower local income tax rate starting January 1. But those owning non-homestead property there would see their property taxes go up.

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Pulaski County Council to Continue Working on 2019 Budget Tonight

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

The Pulaski County Council will continue working on the county’s 2020 budget tonight. Council members have begun suggesting significant cuts, but more specifics still need to be worked out before the budget is ready for adoption on October 14.

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Pulaski County Council Once Again Requests More Time to Consider Tax Changes

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

The Pulaski County Council wants a few more days to consider what direction to take on potential tax adjustments. The county currently has the highest income tax rate in the state, but one of the lowest property tax rates. Council members have been looking at ways to balance those, while also preparing for the end of the special income tax that was put in place to pay for the Justice Center but also covers a large portion of jail operations.

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Pulaski County Council Still Considering Changes to Local Income Tax Structure

With time running out, the Pulaski County Council is still struggling to agree on a clear direction, when it comes to adjusting the county’s income taxes. Consultant Jeffrey Peters has suggested lowering the portion of income taxes designed to offset property taxes, but raising other types of income taxes to help with operations.

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Pulaski County Facing Court Security Implementation Deadline

The Pulaski County Council and Commissioners are each asking the other group for direction on courthouse security. Last week, the commissioners indicated that they’re ready to act on the issue. But during Monday’s county council meetings, Council Member Kathi Thompson pointed out that it hasn’t been factored into the 2020 budget proposal.

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Pulaski Council Aiming to Return Spending to 2016 Levels, as Budget Balancing Efforts Continue

As Pulaski County looks for a way to get its finances back on track, officials’ next step may be to look back at 2016 spending. Consultant Jeffrey Peters told the county council Monday that was the last time revenue exceeded expenditures. “In 2016, you brought in a little above $10 million, you spent about $10 million,” he explained. “This year, we anticipate your revenue stream would be about $10 million.”

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Several Concerns Remain to Be Addressed, As Pulaski County’s Budget Discussions Continue

The Pulaski County Council is hoping to cut budgets, adjust the salary matrix, and start reconfiguring the county’s tax structure, all within the next month or so. Council members will continue discussing potential budget cuts with department heads tonight and next Monday at 7:00 p.m. EDT in the Pulaski County Highway Garage. During last week’s special session, Council Member Kathi Thompson said there are still several departments they need to see.

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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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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 Commissioners Hire Fiscal Planning Consultant

Pulaski County Commissioners: Mike McClure, Jerry Locke, Kenny Becker

The Pulaski County Commissioners are moving ahead with a fiscal plan. They voted two-to-one Monday to hire Peters Municipal Consultants to put the plan together, with Jerry Locke voting in opposition. Of the two proposals the county received, Peters’ was apparently cheaper, with a maximum cost of $24,000, compared to Umbaugh and Associates’ cap of $35,000.

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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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Pulaski County Council to Consider Hiring Outside Help with Adjusting Tax Structure

The Pulaski County Council is not likely to address issues with its local income tax structure in time to have an impact on the 2019 budget. A sudden drop in revenues from the “LIT Levy Freeze” tax was brought to the county council’s attention in September of 2017. In the months that followed, there were some discussions about working with an accounting firm to address the issues, but little progress was made.

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Winamac Town Council Agrees to Attend Joint Meeting With Umbaugh and Other Local Officials

Officials in the town of Winamac agreed to attend a joint meeting with Umbaugh and other local officials to discuss issues with the local income tax (LIT).

When town council members met in a special session on Monday, Clerk-Treasurer Melanie Berger informed them that Pulaski County Public Library representatives recently met with Umbaugh Executive Partner Todd Samuelson to discuss the problem.

Berger said they expressed an interest in holding a meeting where town and county officials, as well as any other agencies impacted by LIT levy freeze, could receive additional information from Umbaugh. Continue reading