PAOLA — Miami County’s proposed 2020 budget slices about 2 mills off its total property tax levy.

The county’s proposed levy is down 1.882 mills from 48.307 mills in 2019 to 46.425 mills in 2020.

When coupled with proposed decreases of 0.119 mills for Fire District No. 1 and 0.167 mills for Fire District No. 2, the total reduction is a little more than 2 mills. The county oversees the finances of both fire districts, which have their own budgets.

Despite the levy reductions, some property owners might see an increase in their property taxes because the county’s estimated assessed property valuation climbed nearly $31 million from a current 2019 estimate of $405.2 million to a projected $436.1 million in 2020.

How much the county’s portion of a property owner’s tax bill fluctuates up or down will depend largely on the change in the property’s assessed valuation. Other taxing entities, such as school districts and cities, also factor into a property owner’s overall tax bill.

The county’s proposed general fund expenditures of $23,238,886 for 2020 are projected to be up $616,445 from 2019’s estimated $22,622,441. The general fund accounts for most of the county’s overall tax levy. The proposed general fund levy for 2020 is 34.95 mills.

Finance Director Steve Lyman said a large percentage of the increase in the general fund is attributable to the 3 percent employee wage increase and a 17 percent health plan cost increase. Additional funds were also added in 2020 to update some of the county’s computer operating software, Lyman said.

A budget hearing has been set for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, in the County Commission chambers in the Miami County Administration Building at 201 S. Pearl St. in Paola.

Four other budget hearings will be held in conjunction with the Aug. 7 public hearing in the commission chambers. Those budgets are for the two fire districts, as well as the street lights and storm sirens budgets for Bucyrus and Hillsdale.

The hearings will take place during the county’s regular commission meeting that day. County residents will have an opportunity to comment on any of the five budgets during the budget hearing portion of the commission meeting.

A more detailed summary of each of the five budgets is expected to be published in the July 24 edition of The Miami County Republic under the Miami County Legals heading.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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