ANDERSON — The property tax rate for the Madison County cumulative bridge fund has been increased by one cent starting for 2018 taxes payable in 2019.
The Madison County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to increase the tax rate from 2.59 cents per $100 of assessed value to 3.59 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
As a result, when the Madison County Council begins to deliberate the 2019 county budget, there will have to be a reduction in the property tax rate for either the general fund, reassessment fund or health fund.
Last year, the commissioners attempted to add one cent to the cumulative bridge fund rate; however, a missed deadline required by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance rolled the rate back to the previous level.
Madison County Engineer Chuck Leser said the latest bridge report indicates the county has to spend $15.5 million over the next five years to replace and maintain the county’s 220 bridges.
Leser said the cumulative bridge fund property tax rate in 2017 raised $727,000 and $718,202 this year. The new property tax rate is expected to raise about $1 million in 2019.
He said the state sets aside $4 million to $5 million each year for bridge work. Leser said only one or two county bridges are eligible for 80 percent matching funds from the federal government and no county bridges are in need of replacement.
Commissioner John Richwine said the increased rate is getting it to where it was proposed last year.
“I would like to increase more than that,” he said of the 1-cent increase.
Leser said the county recognizes the importance of the bridges and good infrastructure to attract investment.
The bridge safety and maintenance report, completed by the engineering firm of Beam, Longest & Neff, identified five bridges that need to be replaced and 15 that need to be rehabilitated by 2023.
The 2017 property tax rate for the operation of county government payable this year is 73.65 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The general fund property tax rate is 68.28 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, for the health fund is 2.46-cents and the reassessment fund is set at $.0032 cents.
The commissioners also approved a contract of $590,768 with Beam, Longest & Neff for the required 2018 to 2022 bridge inspection and inventory report. The Indiana Department of Transportation is providing 80 percent of the funding.