MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PUBLIC HEARING & MEETING HELD ON NOVEMBER 27, 2012
Chairman Mathis called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m., with Commissioners A. James Nance, William Culpepper, and Clark Henderson in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Tom Patton, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Clerk Linda Finch. Chairman Mathis welcomed all in attendance.
Chairman Mathis opened the public hearing and asked for any comments regarding the proposed tax digest and millage rate. Dennis Fraser stated that regarding the millage rate increase, he and some of the people that have talked to him are against it, and he thinks that they can tighten their belts a little bit like the rest of us have to do and find a way to do it without increasing our taxes. He also feels like after all these appeals come through, that should be enough money to handle the situation without going up on the millage rate. Mr. McGarity asked if all the appeals will be heard before the taxes are due. Chairman Mathis stated that if your appeal has not been heard, the Tax Commissioner will bill you at 85% of the current value, and after the appeal has been heard and if the amount you paid is under what you owe, you will be sent a bill, and if it is over what you owe, then you will be given a refund. Mr. Patton stated that there is $37 million in appeals, which is just the amount that is in dispute, and to get the digest in this year, we have to basically make a guess, and we took a swag and assumed that one-half of these appeals will be reduced. There is actually a deduction in the millage rate but we have to advertise as an increase because we are only going to roll the rollback back by one-half, so that burden doesn't hit us full force next year. Mr. Nance stated that if we don't take the full rollback, we have to advertise as a tax increase. Mr. Henderson stated that he thinks what the citizens are not understanding is the county commission actually lowered our millage rate, the city left theirs the same, and the school board raised theirs by two mills; also the Board of Assessors sets the values of the properties, not the county commissioners. Chairman Mathis also advised that after the Board of Equalization hears the appeal, if they are still not satisfied, they can carry it to Superior Court. He added that they are aware that some people are going to pay more taxes this year than they did last year. Mr. Culpepper stated that they all own property and they understand what the people are going through. There were no other comments, so Chairman Mathis closed the public hearing.
ADOPT 2012 TAX LEVY RESOLUTION
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to adopt the Tax Levy Resolution and give the chairman and the administrator the authority to sign the resolution, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE REVISIONS TO CRISP COUNTY LOCAL GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE PLAN
Administrator Patton stated that we have been looking at our financial numbers regarding the health care plan, and right now it is costing us about $200,000 more than we budgeted for this year, so we had to look at some changes in that plan. We have met with the power commission several times, and the consensus is that these changes need to take place so that we can remain on budget in the plan. Mrs. Leverett reported that our cash reserves as of 11/20/12 have dropped to $424,000; this is dangerously low for a health plan fund, as we try to keep those cash reserves on hand between $800,000 and $1,000,000 but that is not a lot of money when you are talking about medical costs. In an effect not to increase the premiums for the employees, the only alternative we had to save money was to make some revisions to the plan. The recommended revisions are attached behind the income statement. It shows how much each recommended change will bring in annually based on the current cost of claims. We would like for you to review that, and this committee recommends approval of these plan changes effective January 1, 2013. Administrator Patton stated that this will balance us out for this fiscal year, we won't gain anything. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the revisions to the Crisp County Local Government Health Care Plan effective January 1, 2013, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to go into Executive Session to discuss legal and real estate, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjourn the meeting at 2:05 p.m., seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.