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Tax increase for Columbus

Town approves new budget with a 5-cent tax increase

COLUMBUS—Town of Columbus residents will see a 5-cent tax increase on property values this year.

Columbus Town Council met last week and approved the budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which begins Wednesday, July 1.

The budget includes a 5-cent tax increase, as all local governments are facing reduced revenues because of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in sales tax. There will be no tax increases for the fire department, or any fire department in Polk County this year as county commissioners did not approve increases for either property or fire taxes for this fiscal year.

The town has budgeted to receive $32,000 in motor vehicle taxes; $630,600 in ad valorem taxes and $246,500 in sales tax this fiscal year. Occupancy tax revenues are budgeted at $24,000 and utilities franchise tax is budgeted at $95,000.

There is nothing allocated for the 4th of July festival since it is canceled this year because of the governor’s order for no outdoor gatherings more than 25 people.

The town also plans to appropriate fund balance this year in the amount of $27,070.

Total general fund revenues are budgeted at $1,506,180.

Expenditures include $14,520 for the governing board; $119,960 for administration; $26,100 for planning; $906,165 for police; $123,800 for police; $224,480 for streets; $72,260 for sanitation; $15,250 for events, parks and tourism and $3,645 for debt service and contingency.

The water/sewer fund is budgeted at $1,737,545 with $655,000 in water sales and $580,000 in sewer sales. The town anticipates to collect an estimated $38,000 in the municipal monthly fee, $7,600 in water tap fees and $2,100 in sewer tap fees.

Columbus also expects to appropriate fund balance for the water/sewer fund in the amount of $48,845 this year.