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Last updated on Thursday, July 26, 2012
(SEYMOUR) - City officials hit Seymour homeowners with an increase in their property taxes Monday.
Common Council voted 6-1 in favor of a resolution to increase the city's tax levy for its Cumulative Capital Development Fund from 2.8 cents to 5 cents per $100 of taxable property.
Five cents is the maximum levy the state allows, Councilman Lloyd Hudson said in his explanation of the increase.
That means property owners with a house assessed at $100,000 will pay $22 in additional taxes in 2013 or $ 12 for those who claim the homestead credit, Hudson added.
The additional revenue generated from the increase -- between $190,000 and $200,000 -- will keep the city from borrowing money in the future, Hudson said.
"It will allow us to operate more efficiently as a city and have funds available to do the things we need to do when we need to do them," he said.
In the past, the Cumulative Capital Fund could only be used to pay for capital projects, but changes in state law allow the money to be put into a city's general fund.
"It will help us from taking out a loan and we can transfer the money back when we get our tax distribution from the county," Hudson said.
During a public hearing for the resolution, downtown resident Gordon Johnson spoke against the increase.
"I'm just trying to figure out when you're going to quit raising taxes," he said. "I know it's not a big increase, but when you're on a fixed income, any increase tends to come up and bite us."
Councilman Jim Lucas cast the only dissenting vote, say¬ing he didn't agree with another tax increase when the city has money available to borrow in its sewer utility fund. The increase, which he estimated to be 80 percent, was unacceptable.
"It gets hard to justify raising taxes when we have money set aside," Lucas said.
Mayor Craig Luedeman cautioned that although the city has money in its sewer account it could borrow against, there might be an emergency come up where that mon-ey is needed.
" We have to have some reserves," he said.
Clerk- treasurer Fred Lewis said the increase represents 2 percent on the city's overall tax rate.
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