Belmont County property owners getting tax reduction

Barnesville Enterprise

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The Belmont County Board of Commissioners announced a decision to eliminate a one-half mill senior services levy from the county-wide property taxes, possibly the first time in the history of the county this type of reduction has been made.

Board President J.P. Dutton said the Board has been evaluating this decision for many months and made the final decision after a close review of the Senior Services of Belmont County budget and projected revenues and expenditures in future program years.

“We are very confident we can reduce Belmont County taxpayers’ property tax burden while continuing to offer outstanding quality services in Senior Services (SSOBC) for years to come with no reduction in services,” said Commissioner Dutton. “The Department has a very healthy revenue reserve and we are very confident the Agency can meet future senior services program demands.”

Commissioner Josh Meyer said the decision to eliminate the one-half mill was not made without thorough research and financial review.

“Our senior services programs have been busier than ever with the onset of the pandemic,” Commissioner Meyer said. “With this increase in services, we are still going to be able to finish the fiscal year in the black and add to the unused revenue pool. This is all possible because of the good management of the programs and services as well as increased outside funding sources that lessens the burden on local levy dollars.”

Commissioner Jerry Echemann said another major factor was the board’s prudent decision to pay off the new SSOBC building that was opened just three years ago.

“It has been the goal of this board to eliminate or reduce any long-term debt in the county,” said Commissioner Echemann. “By paying off the building, we have now transferred some portion of past debt obligations to other future capital needs including building maintenance and projected expenditures, such as fleet replacements and equipment.”

With the decision, the levy will expire at the end of this calendar year 2020. The elimination will also reduce SSOBC’s annual levy allocation by $836,827.69 per year.