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PC sales tax to expire PDF Print E-mail
Friday, March 08, 2013 1:43 PM

OTTAWA - The Putnam County Commissioners approved to end a one-quarter percent sales tax that was put on in 2009 for five years. By not renewing the tax, county  taxpayers will save one and one-half million dollars in interest.

On Thursday, the commissioners approved the resolution after meeting with Putnam County Auditor Robert Benroth, who agreed that the sales tax does not have to be renewed.

The commissioners decided not to renew the tax because of the cut-backs they have made over the last five years and early pay-off on some debt. Over the past few years, county officials have been able to pay off extra amounts of debt for the jail and landfill.

In early January, Commissioner Vince Schroeder was quite optimistic about the county’s fiscal shape and hinted at lowering the taxes in the future.

“A leaner budget and increased sales tax led to successfully paying off the county’s long-term debt,” Schroeder explained.

By not renewing the sales tax,  the county will save in the long run.

“The county will no longer have to budget for this long term debt,” stated Benroth. “We had quite a bit of long-term debt, and it’s just remarkable what our county was able to accomplish. In a time when other counties are borrowing money, our county is paying off debt,” said Benroth.

“It’s not just us, it’s the department heads, elected officials and others in the county that made this possible,” said Commissioner John Love.
The sales tax was put on in 2009 because of financial difficulties in the county. The jail debt was not due to be paid off until 2021 and the landfill debt in 2031, both of these will be paid off early resulting in the savings in interest for the county.

Commissioner Travis Jerwers commented, “Paying off the jail debt has been a co-operative effort between the commissioners and auditor offices. By removing this tax, it is one of many steps to pay off debt and eliminate unneeded taxes.”

 

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