The Springfield City Council approved the millage at 4.3 mills in a split decision Tuesday.
The meeting was held after a brief public hearing.
Former council member Ron Boatright asked the council to continue the trend of reducing the millage rate as it had done in the past. Springfield resident Alene Grovenstein asked why the city needed a revenue increase.
“I know that the city has reduced millage in the past and revenue has increased with the increased assessments,” Grovenstein said. “Why do you need a 17 percent additional increase? Is that because of the city manager position? If it is, I suggest you members of city council pay for that and don’t punish the senior citizens.”
Grovenstein told the council she was disappointed and asked again what the 17 percent increase on top of the millage rate was.
Mayor Barton Alderman said the millage rate would stay the same, creating a net increase due to the reassessments.
“Don’t increase it anymore for us poor senior citizens,” Grovenstein said. “We’re all on fixed incomes, and it’s getting rougher and rougher.”
Woody Hendricks, who does not reside in Springfield but owns houses in Springfield, also asked what the increased revenue was for.
“I was curious. You’re getting 17 percent, and I thought I would come to this meeting and find out why you’re getting 17 percent,” he said. “Where’s the money going, or is it just an opportunity to get 17 percent?
“My salary didn’t go up that much,” Hendricks said.
Hendricks said he doesn’t see any more services being offered to the properties he owns and asked if the city was trying to bring in a big business.
“If we are, I’m going to hurry up and try and get out,” he said.
Alderman said he thought there was a misconception about the amount of the increase of personal property tax.
“Springfield is proposing to keep the millage rate the same as it has been,” he said. “This 17 percent increase is property tax on new homes, property tax on new commercial development. It’s not a 17 percent increase on your individual home, it’s a 17 percent increase in our total net tax coming in.”
Alderman said if the property appraisal did not increase, the amount of taxes paid will not increase.
Councilmen Charles Hinely, Max Neidlinger and Jeff Ambrose voted against approving the millage rate. Councilmen Dennis Webb, Butch Keiffer and Kenny Usher voted to approve it.
Alderman cast the tie-breaking vote to approve the millage at 4.3.