Owensville’s operating, debt service levy slightly lower than announced; assessment grows $496K

By Dave Marner, Managing Editor
Posted 8/26/20

Owensville aldermen on Aug. 17 set the city’s combined operating and debt service levy for the 2020-21 fiscal year at 87.07 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

While that figure is …

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Owensville’s operating, debt service levy slightly lower than announced; assessment grows $496K

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Owensville aldermen on Aug. 17 set the city’s combined operating and debt service levy for the 2020-21 fiscal year at 87.07 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

While that figure is slightly lower than previously announced, it is just over 7 cents higher than the previous year’s total tax levy.

Following a brief public hearing, aldermen adopted Ordinance No. 1339 on a 4-0 roll-call vote. The approved levy, which includes 53.42 cents for debt service and 33.65 cents for the general fund, was slightly lower than the publicly announced proposed levy of 90.27 cents per $100 assessed.

City Clerk Bobbi Limberg said the notice of the public hearing was amended Aug. 10 to reflect a corrected value in the state assessed railroad and utility category for the city’s assessment. The previously released figure, provided by the county, had an incorrect figure showing a greatly reduced assessment figure on an assessment attributed to Ameren Missouri’s facilities.

That assessment, listed as $207,234 for the current fiscal year, was actually $1,624,313. That meant the figure for the city’s overall assessed valuation for the current year — listed incorrectly initially in a Public Notice printed ahead of the meeting as required by state statute — was $38,966,248.

The prior year’s assessment was listed as $39,866,810 which indicated, incorrectly as it turns out, a decrease in the city’s assessed valuation overall.

The city’s assessed valuation for FY 20-21 which began July 1 is actually $40,383,327 which translates to an increase in the overall assessed valuation over all categories to a combined $496,517.

Staff in the county clerk’s office cited an apparent “computer glitch” which was “found when we were proofing documents” as “reports were begin generated.”

The Republican was told the glitch did not affect school districts but did affect municipalities which had dealings with Ameren holdings. All the reports have been corrected, The Republican was told.

The city’s new tax rate is expected to generate $132,943 for general fund operations and $215,740 for debt service.

The city’s tax rates were announced initially as 34.90 cents per $100 assessed for general revenue and 55.37 cents for debt service. The final figures approved by aldermen were actually 33.65 cents for general revenue and 53.42 cents for debt service.

Debt service for WWP bonds

The city’s debt service levy in 2020-21 will be used entirely to help retire general obligation bonds used for construction of the Winter Water Park. Limberg said this is the first year for principal and interest payments on the water park bonds. The city used debt service funds of $186,229 to make the final principal-only payment during the 2019-20 fiscal year which ended June 30. Principal and interest payments continue until 2030 to retire the $1.6 million bond issue.

The city made its final payment this past fiscal year on $1,185,000 in street bonds approved by voters in 2011. This year’s operating tax levy is up just over 7 cents per $100 assessed from the rate of 80.02 cents levied during the previous fiscal year which ended June 30.

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