Aldermen Monday night set the 2013 property tax rate slightly higher than last year.
The new rate of 70 cents per each $100 of assessed valuation of property was approved by ordinance during a special board meeting Monday. The meeting followed a public hearing.
That’s the rate that will be applied to real estate and personal property when tax bills go out later this year.
The breakdown is 56.41 cents for the general fund and 13.59 cents for the park fund.
That total levy represents a slight increase from last year’s total tax rate of 67.03 cents. That breakdown was 54.04 cents for the general fund and 13.02 cents for the park fund.
The ordinance was approved with a 5-1 vote Monday. Alderman Dustin Bailey voted against the increased rate.
He explained that personal property values have dropped, yet taxes will go up.
Bailey noted that both the Union R-XI and St. Clair R-XIII School District maintained a flat tax rate despite lower assessed valuation.
“They consider that unfair and I don’t completely disagree,” he said. “I think we have enough in our reserves that we could manage.”
Finance Officer Heather Keith said the change would not greatly impact residents.
“It’s a small gesture, but it may go a long way,” Bailey added.
Based on final assessed valuation figures received from Franklin County, the 2013 general fund levy is projected to generate $1,165,700 in revenue. That is $939,387 for the general fund and $262,312 for the park fund.
The city approved a $1,106,150 budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Keith noted that there is a projected surplus, but not every Union resident pays their personal property taxes.
Initially, the ordinance did not pass because it requires the approval of at least five aldermen.
At the beginning of the meeting board members Jim Albrecht, Vicki Jo Hooper, Bailey, David Pope and Karen Erwin were the only aldermen in attendance.
The measure failed with a 4-1 vote, Bailey cast the dissenting vote.
Aldermen Bob Schmuke came to the meeting before the meeting was adjourned. There was a second vote taken and the ordinance passed with a 5-1 vote.
City Administrator Russell Rost noted that the tax rate would have likely remained the same as last year if the ordinance was not approved.
He said the city must set the rate prior to Sept. 1, but did not receive assessed valuation information from Franklin County until late August.
There would not be enough time to advertise a special meeting and hold the meeting before Sept. 1, Rost said.