No new taxes expected for Batesville residents 9/11/2015

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 11, 2015

No new taxes expected for Batesville residents

By Rupert Howell
A $22,342,320 budget was approved Tuesday by the City of Batesville’s board of mayor and alderman in front of three or four city employees and accountant Bill Crawford and a reporter.

And it appears that like most local governmental entities, no new taxes will be added for the coming year’s budget with approximately 15 percent or $3,395,000 coming through ad valorem or property taxes.

The most seasoned of the alderman who may also hold the title of most fiscally conservative, Bill Dugger, reminded fellow board members, “We’ve got some big things going on. Kinda’ makes you feel good about things.”

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Bill Crawford handles the city’s account for the Will Polk Accounting firm. Prior to Dugger’s comments Crawford noted, “You’re not raising taxes or utility rates. You’ve given your employees raises. And you’ve got money in the bank.”

“We’ve got good people working for us,” Alderman Stan Harrison noted sharing the warm feeling of not being in debt or having to raise taxes.

“That’s what I’m trying to say,” Crawford said while noting several big projects were being finished or were underway including extending sewer service, updating the sewer plant and finishing the connector road that joins Pine Lodge and House-Carlson drive near Wal-Mart.
The budget hearing and adoption was over in five minutes but board members stayed another few minutes discussing ongoing projects, including construction on the Downtown Square.
That conversation brought up the “Polar Express” train ride scheduled for November and December that will pull thousands to Batesville’s Square.

Alderman Eddie Nabors wondered allowed if officials there could add additional train cars as he had gotten calls from potential customers who could not acquire premium tickets as they had reportedly sold out.

Others noted that approximately $480,000 in tickets has been sold by the previous week with only low-end tickets remaining.

“Is there some way we can gain some revenue from that,” Mayor Autrey wondered allowed.
Alderman Dugger compared the event to the January UKC Coon Hunt and the St. Jude Bass Classic.

“It’s just another way for people to spend money in town,” Dugger said.

Latest figures indicate a 15 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the city collected in July.