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February 22, 2006

Platte County

I am concerned and dismayed over the handling of the Platte County budget shortfall by the current commissioners.

This shortfall is rooted in a decision by the 2004 commission to reduce the property tax levy from 10 to 4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. A 60 percent cut is extreme by any standard, but in Platte County it is made worse by our growing population. We now have more than 80,000 residents, and this increase requires more work from county officials.

Our current commissioners have decided to address this by significantly cutting the budgets of several offices: the treasurer, the clerk and even the sheriff’s department. Rather than admit a former commission’s mistake, rather than working forward on a long-term solution, they have instead chosen to hamstring important county functions, hoping the incredible backlash over reduced services won’t affect their political fortunes.

I call on the commissioners to revisit the levy, adjusting it to a needed level to continue to provide the present level of services. Failure to do this is failure to discharge their duties as elected officials.

Dennis Black



Does anyone have any additional information on this subject? I must have missed it in the paper.

Does a commission have the power to summarily increase or decrease the property tax levey with out voters input such as public meetings or an actual vote? A 60% cut should have caused some kind of collective "What the...?" or "Party time!!".

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