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Shelton Mason County Journal
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Mason County Journal
September 18, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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September 18, 2014

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Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page A-7 By NATALIE JOHNSON nata/ie@masoncoun corn Increasing revenue to Mason County's current-expense fund, or general fund, was the topic of an hourlong Mason County Commission briefing Monday morning. The commission met with Diann Locke, levy and appeals specialist with the state Depart- ment of Revenue, to discuss the procedure and potential pitfalls of doing either a road levy shift or a levy lid lift to increase rev- enue for the current expense fund. Commissioner Randy Neat- herlin said the information pre- sented at the briefing was not what he expected. "The Department of Revenue meeting was eye opening," he said. Neatherlin said the levy shift would take a lot of work and collaboration with other municipalities, such as the city of Shelton and the city's Metro- politan Parks District, and the county might need to look at another option for generating revenue. "It would be nothing more than a Band-Aid," he said. The commission has not made any decisions regarding levy lid lifts or shifts. Com- missioner Tim Sheldon told the Journal he is "adamantly against a road levy shift or levy lift." The county collects property- tax revenue for both its current expense and road funds. It can increase property-tax revenue in several ways. The county can increase taxes by 1 percent by a vote of the com- mission each year or can do a levy shift in which the county would shift tax revenue from the road fund to the current- expense fund. "The cost of providing ser- vices at the county level in the current expense fund exceeds the 1 percent," Commissioner Terri Jeffreys told the Journal on Monday. The allowed 1 percent in- crease, which last year amount- ed to a total revenue increase of $180,000 for both the current expense and road levies, is not enough to account for increases in costs for expenses such as fuel, health care and the county's risk pool insurance, Jeffreys said. The county could also in- crease revenue using a levy lid lift or by increasing its tax rate up to the maximum of $1.80 per $1,000 of assessed value. The county's current-expense levy rate is capped by state law at $1.80 per $1,000 of assessed value. The county could exceed that limit by doing a levy shift, Locke said. The county would need to approve this move annually. The combined county road and current-expense fund levies may not exceed $4.05 per $1,000 of assessed value after the levy shift, according to state law. The downside of a levy shi~, Locke cautioned the commis- sion, is that it could force the de- crease in levy amounts in select junior taxing districts, such as the Shelton Metropolitan Parks District, to stay below state levy thresholds. If the parks district lost money because of the levy shift, Locke said the county could en- ter into an agreement with the city to reimburse all or some of the loss. Shelton Mayor Gary Cronce attended the meeting and ex- pressed his concern about po- tentially negative effects to Shelton. "I think it's a dangerous prec- edent to start down that road," he said, about the levy shift. COUNTY BRIEFS policy related to amend- ously, surveys have been of the county's 2015 An- ments to the compre- completed along the U.S. nual Construction Pro- sought for hensive plan, Shoreline Highway 101 corridor and gram and the 2015-2020 Master Program and along the Case Inlet and six-year Transportation land-use regulations. Grapeview shorelines. Improvement Plan. The commission Proposals are due State law requires meets at 6 p.m. on the by 5 p.m. Oct. 16. For both plans to be updated Applicants are needed third Monday of each more information on annually. to fill one position each month in the Mason submitting a proposal, : A draft copy of each in the Mason County County Commission call Michael MacSems atplan is available at Housing Authority chambers. 427-9670, ext. 571. www.co.mason.wa.us. Board and the county Each PAC member Planning Advisory Com- has a four-year term. -x oun*'" sets mission (PAC).The open position will The Mason County fill the remainder of a ~ NLmLN~ Housing Authority owns term that expires Oct. 2, pUI~||~ and manages the Pine 2016. requests Garden Apartments, Applications are also the Goldsborough Cove available online. Apartments, Fairmont The Mason County .......... Cove Apartments and Commission scheduled The Trust for Public ~: r..,.,,.ro=, two public hearings at the Kneeland Park Land could soon help Apartments. wants - R ~ its Tuesday morning Mason County assess The board meets |n~u meeting, how it funds its parks. monthly at 9 a.m. on The first, scheduled Mason County Commis- the fourth Thursday of for survey for 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 7, sioner Werri Jeffreys said the month at the Mason will take testimony andshe is looking into the pos- County Commission The Mason County consider abolishing thesibility of forming a metro- Chambers at 411 N. Historic Preservation Skokomish Flood Con- politan parks district. Fifth St. in Shelton. Commission is acceptingtrol Zone District. The County Commis- Commissioners serve proposals from qualified Some property owners sion approved a letter five-year terms. The new candidates to conduct at Lake Cushman have Tuesday to the Trust for member would serve un- a historical resources asked to be removed Public Land (TPL) asking til August 2017. survey and inventory for from the district's bound- for technical advice and The Planning Advisory Matlock and the area aries. The commission assistance in efforts to Commission is looking for served by the logging will also consider a re- finance parks, trails, open an applicant from Com- railroad lines between quest from the Skokom- space and land conserva- mission District 2, which Shelton and Grays Har- ish Tribe to reduce tion. includes much of the west bor County. impediments to placing The county will not be side of the county. The Historic Preser- in trust lands within the charged for that assis- The PAC is a seven- vation Commission is district's boundary, tance, according to the member citizen board working to make a series The second, scheduled commission. that advises the Mason of these surveys to cover for 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 14, TPL will conduct re- County Commission on the entire county. Previ- concerns the adoption search and a public opin- ion survey. looking for The Mason County Housing Coalition will issue a request for pro- posals to select contrac- tors to provide home- lessness and housing services in 2015. The coalition has estimated that it will have $300,000 to fund the contracts, which is collected through county recording fees. Applications are due by 4 p.m. Oct. 31 at Ma- son County Public Health and Human Services at 415 N. Sixth St., Shelton. County OKs rule changes Mason County's rules regarding open public meetings now more closely align with state standards. The Mason County Board of Commissioners adopted two revisions to Send money instantly and securely with our App and PCU Mobile Send money to family, friends, and small businesses as easy and fast as sending an email or text. Find out more at a branch, by phone (800) 426-1601 or online at www.pcfcu.org PCU Members can download PCU Mobile FREE from iTunes and GooglePlay. C R E D I ~: U Ni O N its rules. The amended rules require the county to post regular meeting agendas online at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting's published start time. The board approved the amendments to com- ply with changes made to the Open Public Meet- ings Act in the 2014 reg- ular Legislative session. Compiled by reporter Natalie Johnson 360-479-4414 450 S. National Av. 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