Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 12, 2010

City, library and schools waiting for their tax payment

$6M received Feb. 19 yet to be distributed.

County officials are expecting to disburse money received from the Chrysler and Delphi property tax arrears possibly as soon as next week, giving a boost to city, library and school coffers.

The county has been trying for more than two weeks to calculate the exact amounts due each local taxing unit, including the city of Kokomo, Kokomo-Center Schools and the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.

Howard County Deputy Auditor Laurie Martin said Friday the county will probably disburse funds received from Chrysler and Delphi in three separate waves, based on the time it takes to calculate exact amounts.

Much of the money won’t reach the taxing units, as the city of Kokomo, Kokomo-Center Schools and Howard County all have to repay loans taken from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

The auditor’s office, which will eventually disburse the money, has also been busy getting the spring property tax bills ready, Martin said.

“It’s not far back on the stove,” she said. “I’ve gotten questions about ‘When can we expect it?’ but I’ve not gotten any complaints,” Martin said.

Kokomo city controller Jim Brannon said the city can afford to be patient.

“It’s always better to get money sooner rather than later; we’d be happy to get the money today, but we don’t want to put any undue pressure on what they have to do,” Brannon said.

City and county officials announced Feb. 19 that Chrysler would pay $25 million in property taxes owed over a six-year period, the same day the first $11 million installment was deposited with the county.

The same day, the city filed a request for its share of the money. By state law, the county has 30 days to fulfill the request.

Kokomo-Center Schools filed a similar request Feb. 23, and the library filed theirs Feb. 25, Martin said.

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