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Wed, Oct 22, 2014 12:51 AM
Issue of October 15, 2014
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$1.5 million relief from riverboat appeal tabled

June 04, 2014 | 10:19 AM

The Harrison County Council tabled an additional appropriation of $1.5 million needed to pay back certain taxing units for lost revenue stemming from the successful Horseshoe Southern Indiana riverboat property tax appeal.

Instead of approving or denying the commissioner-backed appropriation on May 27, the council drafted a letter to be sent to the 12 taxing units affected, asking if they could absorb some or all of the loss.

"Please review your budgets for 2014 to determine how much, if any, of your share of the $1.5 million lost revenue you could absorb by reducing planned spending for this year," the letter reads.

The council expects responses by Aug. 1.

The largest chunk of the loss is $874,900.96 for the South Harrison Community School Corp.

"Of course, we've already had a report from the school corporation that they need all of their money," Council Chair Gary Davis said.

Other than South Harrison schools, the estimates show the figures will reduce other budgets as follows: county general, $247,616; Harrison County Public Library, $104,079; cumulative bridge, $48,461; parks department, $46,508; emergency management agency, $43,226; health department, $42,886; cumulative capital development, $25,021; reassessment, $21,516; cumulative courthouse, $18,428; solid waste, $16,476; and Posey Township, $11,383.

The casino appealed its assessed valuation in 2011 in the amount of more than $190 million for the casino, riverboat and Chariot Run golf course. Horseshoe's properties comprise more than 70 percent of the assessed value in Posey Township, so any change in the assessed value would greatly affect the entire township and the taxing units involved.

In other business, the council also created a letter to be sent to all department heads in county offices with budget guidelines for 2015.

"Tell them to use the same numbers for budgets as last year," Councilman Phil Smith said.

The council's 2015 budget process will begin in August.

The council voted 6-0 (Councilman Jim Heitkemper was absent) to approve $318,755 for a new roof at the Harrison County Justice Center; $50,355 for a new roof at the courthouse; $30,000 for maintenance supplies to conform to ADA regulations; and $2,500 for travel, per diem and meals for the prosecutor.

At the council's next meeting, on Monday at 7 p.m., Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye will present an additional request of $30,000 for firearms supplies and equipment.

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