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Dearing waives property taxes again for 2005

The Dearing City Council approved the town's 2005 budget last Monday night, and the nearly $200,000 financial plan continues the trend started last year: No revenue will come from taxes.

The council voted last year to suspend the city's taxes because the work to collect them would only bring in minimal revenue. Dearing Mayor Ralph Menees said that the little bit collected wasn't worth the effort.

"We were having to do all of our billing by hand, and we were only getting 30 cents or 40 cents to 75 cents per household," he said. "So a lot of them that we did, we couldn't even mail because the tax was less than the postage."

According to Mayor Menees, about $500 was the total amount collected. He added that Dearing residents will enjoy no city taxes until the council decides differently.

"That was indefinitely," he said. "If we decide sometime in the future to reinstitute it, well then we will."

The coming year's budget will be $36,000 more than in 2004 because money from the city's surplus is budgeted to supplement the sewer account shortfall. The budget shows the revenue from the surplus account because, according to Mayor Menees, the city is required to have a balanced budget.

The largest non-sewer-related portion of Dearing's revenue comes from their share of the county's sales tax. That figure is an estimated $28,000 for 2005.

Revenue from the insurance franchise tax is estimated at $24,000, and franchise fees for utility companies are estimated at $20,300. Dearing should also earn $15,000 from interest on investments in the coming year.

Several bigger expenditures for Dearing in 2005 will be $30,600 for sewer operations and maintenance, $24,000 for general government administration and $20,700 for the fire department.

Also, $6,000 is budgeted for street maintenance, and $18,000 will go to keep garbage collection free to those who live inside the city limits.

And the budget passed by the council will most likely stay consistent. Mayor Menees said he didn't foresee any major expenses that would need to be added as the year progresses.

"We haven't planned on doing any major purchases of any kind," he said.

Web posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2004

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