Clearwater to exceed revenue neutral rate

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By Michelle Leidy-Franklin, TSnews

CLEARWATER – Council members at the Clearwater City Council meeting voted to move forward with exceeding the revenue neutral rate and establish a mill levy for 2023 of 64.023.
The city was required to notify the county by July 20 if it intended to exceed the RNR for 2023. A public hearing to discuss the city’s RNR and budget is set for Aug. 23.
Homeowners of the average home valued at $175,00 in Clearwater can expect a monthly increase of approximately $20 on property taxes for 2023.
If the council had not voted to exceed the RNR, $290,000 would have to be removed from the city budget. Another concern was losing taxes from Plains Cotton in coming years. Plains Cotton was offered 10 years of tax breaks as part of the incentive to come to Clearwater. The decrease in tax revenue from this offer could result in the need for a significant increase in taxes in the near future to maintain the city budget if council members voted to remain revenue neutral for 2023.
In other business:
• An open public meeting was held during the meeting to allow the public to weigh in on the city’s comprehensive plan. There was no one present to speak.
• The council approved ordinance 1082 to adopt the city comprehensive plan.
• The council approved an agreement to allow a resident to erect a carport in a city easement. The resident had been maintaining the property since the 1980s. He assumed the property belonged to him and the error was discovered by both him and the city when he applied for the permit to build. The city voted to permit him to erect a carport, tied down with stakes, that can be moved should the owner ever vacate the adjoining property. Council agreed to make an exception given the unusual circumstances. The gentleman did offer to purchase the property, but the city wanted to retain possession for future expansion needs.
• The council approved the library budget in the amount of $113,700.