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Tax raise gets the go-ahead from city

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By Jesse Osbourne

No residents showed up to protest or praise at the public hearing for a proposed raise in the property tax rate last Tuesday at Springfield City Hall.
A tax increase was passed by the council, as no one opposed a raised rate in person or through comments prior to the hearing.
The proposed rate of 14 percent received a first reading. Last year’s rate was 13.2 percent. A second reading was scheduled for Sept. 11 during the regular scheduled city council meeting.
If the 14 percent rate is passed after a second reading, a property owner will pay $140 per $100,000 of assessed property value.
The raise results in a four-percent increase in revenue and a .08 percent increase in rate to the taxpayer.
If the compensating rate (last year’s 13.2 percent) rate had remained, it would have resulted in $223,362 in revenue.
The proposed rate will result in $229,353 in revenue, about a $9,000 increase from the previous fiscal year.
The rate only applies to residents and property owners in the city limits of Springfield.

Hassco annexation
Also on the agenda for the special-called meeting was a decision whether to allow Hassco to leave the city limits.
The city council voted to keep Hassco in the city limits.
The company approached the council in July about annexing the company out of the city limits.
Joey Auberry spoke on behalf of the company.
He said the company previously needed city services to install sewer lines for a proposed logistics center.
The installation wasn’t economical and the center was eventually moved to Lebanon, instead.
“At this point, we don’t have any use or reason for any city services,” Auberry said at the July council meeting. “Other than paying taxes, that’s all we’re kind of receiving out of it.”
According to City Administrator Laurie Smith at the July meeting, the property was annexed in 2007 by Standard Commercial. The property was purchased by Hassco with the understanding that it was annexed into the city limits, she said at the July meeting.
She told council members that the company paid $700 in city taxes last year.
Council member Lisa Haydon was absent from the meeting.