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County taxes will increase for 2013


LaGrange County Commissioners adopted a new tax rate for the Cumulative Capital Development Fund (CCDF) at their Monday meeting. The new rate of 0.0333 will be effective for 2012 real estate and personal property taxes due and payable in 2013.

    The current rate is 0.0167 and raises about $300,000 annually. The new rate will raise about $600,000 annually, which can be used only for capital projects such as new county highway equipment, sheriff’s department vehicles, or major building repairs.

    The LaGrange County Council had recommended to commissioners at budget time last year that the CCDF rate needed to be increased.

    Commissioners also approved the sale of 75 ash trees at Maple Wood Nature Center for $5,200. The high bid was from Tri-State Hardwoods and the logging will be done with horses to minimize damage to the woods.

    LaGrange County Parks Department Superintendant Mike Metz reported that Maple Syrup Days drew some 3,400 people over the weekend. “Maple Syrup Days is a popular event with about half of our visitors coming from outside the county,” Metz stated. He explained that the South Milford Lions Club puts on the breakfast and regularly donates back to the parks department for different projects at the center. “They typically donate anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 for a specific project,” Metz said.

    Commissioners also approved an amendment to the Riverboat Gambling Fund ordinance which will allow for the amount of an individual transaction to be raised from $30,000 to $50,000.

    The National Association of Counties’ prescription cards program was voted down for the time being. Commissioner Garry Heller noted that there are many discount prescription cards and programs available to anyone who wishes to apply.

    Carlin Yoder, a district representative for U.S. Representative Marlin Stutzman, spoke briefly to commissioners. He noted that the state is doing better on non-funded mandates while he sympathized with commissioners over the federal requirements regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act. Counties and other municipal units of government must comply with the mandate or risk losing federal funds for roads, etc. The deadline to have a plan in place is Dec. 31, 2012.

    Mike Aylesworth, IDEM Outreach director for Northern Indiana, told commissioners that the goal is to clean up Indiana’s water. In Indiana, IDEM administers federal EPA rules.

    When asked about homeowner operated septic systems and centralized septic processing plants, Aylesworth said “What goes down comes back around.”