The agenda and packet for tomorrow’s work session of the Monroe County Council is available here. I expect this one to be pretty interesting!
Following are the highlights of the agenda:
- The Clerk is requesting a new position — Training Coordinator — to be created, and classified as a PAT (Professional, Administrative, and Technical) III. This is the first of 3 position-related requests that were read for the first time at the last regular meeting but not discussed or voted upon. Since a salary ordinance amendment requires a unanimous vote to pass on the first reading, and one councilor indicated that she would be voting “no” on all 3 position requests, the council chose to just do a first reading at the last meeting, and discuss and vote at the work session. The Clerk is requesting this position in lieu of two existing positions, which will then remain vacant. The Council’s Personnel Administration Committee (PAC) voted to recommend in favor of this move 3-0.
- The Plan Commission is requesting that the Senior Planner position be moved from 35 hours per week to 40 hours per week. Most county positions are 35 hours per week; however, the Planning Director and Assistant Planning Director have already been moved to 40 hours per week. The Plan Commission’s arguments are (a) that 35 hours/week does not cover the workload (and they will be presenting documentation on the increase in filings and other demands) and (b) that the current 35 hour/week salaries are simply not high enough to compete in what is essentially a national marketplace and thus Monroe County has an extremely high turnover rate in skilled planners, to the detriment of service to the public. This request was forwarded by PAC with a 3-0 positive recommendation.
- The Auditor is requesting that the Payroll Representative (the deputy Auditor responsible for payroll) be reclassified from a COMOT IV to a COMOT V. The rationale for this request was the high turnover in a position that has been underclassified in the past. This request was forwarded by PAC with a 3-0 positive recommendation.
- In what will probably be the most closely watched of the evening’s discussions, the Assessor will give a presentation to the Council that will cover (a) the assessment appeals process, (b) the status of high-profile appeals, and (c) the potential financial impact on the county and other taxing units of these high-profile appeals. This presentation was requested by the Council after the 2014-04-08 County Council Meeting, in which the Council learned that an appeal by the owner of the Fields apartment complex that had been allowed to languish for 5 years by the State was just settled by the Assessor, costing the County and other taxing units (including the City of Bloomington and MCCSC) over $700,000.
- The Assessor’s presentation is available here: Appeals Process Presentation
- The Council will discuss the report recently received from the Department of Local Government Finance detailing the circuit breaker credits for Monroe County taxing units for 2014.
- There are two types of circuit breaker credits in Indiana. One is the so-called 1%-2%-3% tax caps (that are in the Indiana Constitution), and the other is a limitation on increases in property taxes for property owners over 65 years of age. Circuit breakers represent caps on taxes for property owners, but losses of revenue for local government.
- Although in gross terms the circuit breaker amounts for 2014 are quite low compared with many other counties, Monroe County saw a substantial increase from 2013-2014 in the 1%-2%-3% tax caps (i.e., the aggregate amount by which property owners’ taxes exceed a particular percentage of their gross assessed value — 1% for homesteaders, 2% for multifamily residential, rental, and agricultural property, and 3% for businesses):
- This discussion is for information of the Council; no action will be taken
- The full report can be found here: Monroe_County_CB_Report
- The Council will discuss report commissioned by the Monroe County Redevelopment Commission on a situation in the County’s Richland Economic Development Area (TIF district) in which several parcels were annexed by the City of Bloomington.
- The City and the County developed an interlocal agreement to determine how the tax increment would be divided between the City and the County; however, after several parcel splits and renumbering, the County erred in distributing the appropriate amount of revenue between the two parties from 2009 on. The study, conducted by Financial Solutions Group (FSG), determined that the County overpaid the City by $441,191.70 during the period of 2009-2013. The County would recoup this overpayment by withholding distributions in 2014. This discussion is for the Council’s information; we do not have any action or vote to take.
- The FSG report can be found here: Binder of MONROE COUNTY (ANALYSIS OF PAY 2009-2013 RICHLAND CITY TIF REV
- The Council will further discuss a proposal to increase the Juvenile County Option Income Tax (JCOIT) from 0.05% to 0.95%. This was originally discussed in the 2014-04-08 County Council Meeting. The Council will be discussing which expenses can appropriately be moved into the JCOIT fund. The committee I created to study the issue of which juvenile expenses can and should be paid for from JCOIT revenues (Councilors Yoder, Hawk, and Jones) will give a report of their findings. No action will be taken at this meeting; a vote is anticipated at the regular County Council meeting on 2014-05-13.