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Clinton County commissioners scale back tax increase

LOCK HAVEN — An 11th hour change to the 2020 Clinton County budget means that taxpayers won’t be taxed as heavily in the coming year.

At Thursday’s voting meeting, the commissioners announced they had tweaked the proposed budget so that taxpayers will still see their taxes climb, but not by as much as was recently proposed.

“Due to some actions we’re taking and some fine-tuning, we’ve decided that the additional tax revenue to meet this budget and maintain the fund balance … that we can do so with a 6.2 millage rate — which is two-tenths a mill increase — as opposed to the three-tenths of a mill increase that was proposed when the budget was posted,” Commissioner Pete Smeltz announced.

At 6.3 mills, the county’s total property tax income would amount to $12,960,375. At 6.2 mills, the budgeted tax income will be $12,754,654.

The reduction in the increase wasn’t enough to satisfy outgoing Commissioner Paul Conklin, who voted “no” on the budget.

Voting “yes” were Smeltz and Commissioner Jeff Snyder.

Even though he voted against the budget — estimated at about $39.2 million — Conklin said he appreciated the last-minute changes.

“There was some additional work done, which I really sincerely appreciate. But we were down close enough that I think we could use those fund balances that are sitting there in reserve for situations like this as opposed to looking at a tax increase,” Conklin said.

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