Officials say extra money from property tax not earmarked yet

Columbus is receiving more money than originally anticipated from local property taxes, revenue may be allocated to additional capital projects and road work.

The state’s Department of Local Government Finance had estimated the city’s property tax collection would be $28.2 million, while the city had projected it to be about $29 million.

However, the state notified the city recently that the city’s amount will be $29.3 million. The difference — the estimate from the DLGF and the final amount — amounts to just over $1 million, said Jamie Brinegar, director of finance, operations and risk.

Columbus City Council members on Tuesday approved a resolution tied to appropriations and tax rates for 2017, which was necessary to make a request to the state for the full $29.3 million, Brinegar said.

The state can provide the city with the full amount, the amount advertised as part of the city’s budget request approved in October or an amount somewhere in between, Brinegar said.

Mayor Jim Lienhoop and city department heads will need to develop a plan of which capital needs to prioritize, Brinegar said.

An additional appropriation for the money is expected to go before council in April, he said. Possible uses for the money include several road and stormwater projects although city officials say they have several options to consider.

The money could be set aside to be used for a matching grant for a larger project down the road, he said.

Linehoop also said there are no specific projects outlined yet since the city doesn’t know exactly how much money it will receive. The money will go directly into the city’s general fund.

“My expectation is it will be less than a million bucks,” Lienhoop said.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com