Daviess County Fiscal Court had the first reading of an ordinance that would lower the insurance premium tax for County residents outside the city limits of Owensboro and Whitesville.
“The insurance premium tax was increased by 4 percent to help with the downtown project, particularly the Convention Center,” explained Jim Hendrix, County Treasurer.
“We had a provision in the original ordinance that said, once we collected enough revenue to service the bond debt, the tax had to come off the rate,” he added.
Hendrix said the County will have collected enough money by the end of the Fiscal Year to service the remainder of the bond debt.
If approved, the insurance premium tax will return to the original rate of 4.9 percent on July 1, 2022.
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Update
Daviess County Fiscal Court will elect the “Standard Loss Allowance” for up to $10 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.
Last year, the County was notified it would receive $19.7 million through ARPA in two installments. At the time, the Treasury issued interim guidance with eligible project categories.
“In reviewing the final rule, the revenue loss provision has been modified,” said Treasurer Jim Hendrix. “It went from a multi-year calculation to now a standard loss allowance of up to $10 million.”
Hendrix explained the $10 million could be spent on normal government services, unless expressly prohibited by the Act. For example, the funds could not be used to lower a tax or pay pension liability costs.
“The standard loss allowance is designed to simplify the determination of loss and the reporting burden placed on the entities,” Hendrix added.
ARPA funds will most likely be allocated toward a countywide broadband expansion project, with the standard loss allowance spent on government services.
Fiscal Court had the first reading on a budget amendment that will account for two grant awards, one for a generator (Emergency Management) and the other for bulletproof vests (Detention Center).
Fiscal Court approved an amended budget for the sheriff’s office that reflects updated salary and pension benefits from the Department for Local Government.
The accounting firm, MCM CPAs & Advisors, will conduct a required audit for the County’s 2022 Fiscal Year.
Fiscal Court awarded bids for a new dump trailer and two road tractors for the Solid Waste Department, while rejecting bids for PVC Pipe at the Landfill and a dump truck for the Road Department.
Fiscal Court approved promotions for Jason Hawkins (Service Technician) and Jeff Martin (Heavy Equipment Operator), effective February 14, 2022.