LIMA — When it comes to finances, Allen County is faring better the first quarter of this year than the year before, according to county auditor Rhonda Eddy-Stienecker.
The auditor reported the county’s first quarter numbers to Allen County Commissioners on Thursday, noting that county revenue is up over last year.
“We’re showing strong revenue coming in, and sales tax is up over last year,” she said. “I feel that we have strong balances.”
The county brought in $7.7 million in revenue this first quarter compared to $7.2 million last year, an increase of almost six percent.
“Expenses are up only 0.45 percent,” Eddy-Stienecker said. “So while expenses are up a little bit, revenue is up much more, which is what we want to see.”
Another source of increased revenue has been the higher valuations of agricultural property in the county, up 62 percent over last year.
“That is due to (Current Agricultural Use Value) rates, which have increased,” Eddy-Stienecker said. “I don’t call it a tax credit program. I call it a tax valuation program. We’re changing the valuation of land based on soil types rather than market value.”
The soil types help determine the projected productivity of the land, which, when coupled with commodity markets and other factors, help determine how the land should be valued, which then affects property tax totals.
“With these increases in the ag district, the question has been asked of what that means for Allen County itself,” Eddy-Stienecker said. “The Allen County general fund will see about a $220,000 increase overall because of the CAUV rates.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.