Owen County is still waiting for the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance to release the rates necessary for the Auditor and Treasurer to move forward. Our local officials have done an outstanding job getting all of our information to the state in a timely manner a long time ago. There will definately not be a May 10th tax collection, but more realistically speaking, a possible June or July collection. Please stay tuned for more information--as soon as our rates are available, they will be posted on this site.

The Owen County Council started 2008 with its first meeting January 14th. Below is information you may find helpful when you have questions or need assistance. As our District Two Council member, being accessible to you as a public official is a responsibility that I take very seriously.


WHO IS AND HOW DO I REACH MY DISTRICT'S COUNCIL MEMBER?

Anton Karl Neff
Owen County Councilman, District 2
306 North Park Avenue
Spencer, Indiana 47460

(812) 829-4254 Home
(812) 325-4029 Cell
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.antonkarlneff.com

E-mail is typically the best way to get in touch with me, followed by telephone. I am also more than happy to meet with you in-person to discuss complex issues.


WHO ARE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE OWEN COUNTY COUNCIL?

Mike Wood, At-Large, President
Patty Steward, District 4, Vice-President
Irma Jean Franklin, At-Large
Donnie Hall, At-Large
Nick Robertson, District 1
Kristin Szczerbik, District 3


WHAT IS THE COUNTY COUNCIL?

It is a seven member board consisting of four elected from districts and three elected county wide. The Council reviews and sets county operating budgets, establishes compensation for county officials and employees, appropriates public funds, and has the ability to secure financing for county government projects. The Council also makes appointments to various local boards.


WHEN DOES THE COUNTY COUNCIL HOLD PUBLIC MEETINGS?

Regular meetings and budget hearings are open to the public.

Regular monthly meetings are held at the Owen County Courthouse in the 2nd floor meeting room on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 PM. The deadline to be a part of the meeting agenda regarding an issue relating to the County Council is the Monday prior to the meeting. All agenda inquires can be directed to the Auditor at 829-5000.

Annual budget hearings are also held at the Courthouse and usually are conducted late August/early September.

Other special meetings, committee meeting, and workshops as needed may be advertised on a per case basis in the Spencer Evening World.


WHAT ISSUES MAY I CONTACT MY COUNCIL MEMBER ABOUT?

Any issue relating to budgets, compensation, etc., as noted above. In addition, don't be afraid to ask ANY question about ANY county government topic. If you have a question that is outside the realm of County Council related business, I can still help point you in the right direction for further assistance. Communication is a two-way street and I also often contact folks in the District to ask for their opinions and insight on issues as well.

You can also contact me regarding County Plan Commission issues as I serve as the Council's appointment to that board.


WHAT IS YOUR POLICY ON CONFIDENTIALITY?

I encourage open communication and in order to do so, I simply ask that people identify themselves. I do not respond to unsigned letters, anonymous calls, etc. If a person requests that I keep their name confidential when I work to address an issue, I will honor that.


IS THERE A DISTRICT TWO WEBSITE?

Yes! And you are currently viewing it. Please explore the site as you will find information such as:

-A schedule of upcoming meetings
-Minutes to meetings for County Council, County Commissioners, County Plan Commission & Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Town of Spencer
-County office telephone numbers
-Links to Owen County businesses, churches, organizations, local utility companies, media, recreational facilities, and other governmental services.
-Updates regarding important issues


I am looking forward to continuing my service to you. Please feel free to contact me anytime you need assistance or have questions.

Sincerely,
Anton
Many of you may have read about the 2007 Homestead Credit Rebate for Property Tax. This rebate is the result of action by the Indiana state legislature earlier this year.

Owen County received a total of $459,543 and this will be distributed among all property owners who have a homestead exemption on their property taxes.

The state did not make this easy to figure (on top off tax bills that are tough to decipher anyway), but the gesture is in-kind and the property tax relief is much appreciated. As your County Council member representing District 2, attached is a tool I created to help satisfy your curiosity in estimating your rebate amount.

If you would like to figure your rebate, have your current 2007 tax statement handy and open up the attachment:

Rebate Estimator
*Note this will only work for District Two taxpayers as the tool is programmed with Washington Township or Town of Spencer rates.

The layout of the attachment closely matches your tax statement and there are only 4 easy steps: 1) select the taxing unit for the location of your property, 2) enter the property values (residential and non-residential, 3) enter your TOTAL exemptions, and 4) then click on the green box. Your approximate rebate amount should appear.

Please keep in mind that some of the figures may vary slightly due to rounding and the order of formulas programed, but they will be very close. If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to email me. This is my first attempt at doing something like this, so I welcome your feedback in order to work out any bugs or make it easier to use. Please keep in mind that the attached tool is designed for a typical homeowner and is just an estimate. Some people may have more complicated tax statements and the attachment may not account for all of the components of a complicated statement.

Exact figures and checks will be calculated and certified by the Auditor who hopes to have these checks mailed by December 31st.
As our District Two County Council member, I have information to share with you concerning County Budget Hearings.

On September 5th, 6th, and 7th the Owen County Council will be conducting annual budget hearings at the Courthouse. Here is a schedule for the first two days--the third day may not be used:

2008 County Budget Hearings Schedule - Days 1 & 2

Budget hearings are open to the public and are designed to provide an opportunity for taxpayers to voice any concerns they may have. As your County Council member representing District Two, I invite you to be a part of the process. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about the process, please ask.

Our County Auditor had provided budget data to me and I created an electronic copy in PDF format of the budget requests for you. Here is a link to view all of the requests:

2008 Budget Requests

Many decisions for 2008 are going to be made at these hearings based on these requests and matching them with the short-term and long-term challenges we have to address. In addition, we have to review current budget appropriations and consider the state's financial projections for our county.

There are a couple of comments I want to make which may help put the process into perspective:

BUDGET REQUESTS

The 2008 budget requests are simply that--REQUESTS. By law, we have to advertise budget amounts in advance of the hearings. The advertised amounts are always much much higher than what is approved because it gives us maximum flexibility in addressing the demand for our services and making adjustments. So, please do not be alarmed at things that may seem very high in dollar amount. As a Council member, my duty is to review each line item carefully, establish/justify needs, and match that up with priorities on any amounts before final approval.

GOVERNMENT FUNDING

All county government services are funded from a variety of different revenue sources.

There has been a lot of news coverage about property taxes. Depending on whether you live in the Town of Spencer or out in Washington Township, county government services only pull between 14% and 17% of each property tax dollar you pay. This is a small portion of the overall amount of property tax you pay. Here is a breakdown for 2007:

District Two Property Tax Breakdown per Dollar

In addition to property tax, other county revenue sources include, but are not limited to, income tax, motor vehicle taxes, service fees, 911 surcharges, interest, and state-distributed money.

Thank you for your time today. Additional information about the County Council, myself, and local government can be found on this website. Please feel free to contact me with your questions/concerns.
The Auditor's office has recently released the 2007 tax rates. An official copy of the rate sheet is available in that office on the second floor of the courthouse. I would like to put a good word in for the hard work and diligence of our local officials in getting all components in place for the approval and release of these rates.

In addition to the rate sheet, I have also taken the rate information for our District and created a resource that you may also find valuable. It splits out each property tax dollar you pay by each taxing unit.

All of this information is available on this District 2 Council website at the following link:

http://www.antonkarlneff.com/store/index.php?cid=8

I welcome your feedback and any questions you may have.

Paid for by Anton Karl Neff personally