My name is Anton Karl Neff and I represent District Two on the Owen County Council. Since taking office, I have worked hard to represent the district and Owen County. A conservative approach to budgeting has helped us stay afloat despite continued revenue and expense pressures on local government. Owen County is very fortunate to have little debt and healthy cash balances in many of our funds. We also have an on-time budgeting and tax process. With many economic and state regulation pressures, we have to continually monitor our county's budget status. I support decisions and policies that promote efficiency in government and long-term financial planning. We always need to find the right balance of providing effective services while maintaining our investment in our county government workforce at an efficient and reasonable cost to our taxpayers.
I hope that you find my website useful in finding out more about me and how to contact me. Your suggestions are always welcome. Most important, I want to hear your ideas and concerns regarding Owen County's local government. If I do not have an answer for your question, I will either find an answer or find a resource for you to get an answer. Open communication is very important to me. Thanks for visiting!
- Written by Anton K Neff
Property Tax bills are "in the mail" and I will be getting one like many of you. This is most likely not described as a joyous occasion to anyone but, I hope most understand that it is important in terms of keeping local government services available and operational.
As a taxpayer myself, I want to know where my money goes--to understand exactly what I am paying for. It can be a challenge at the state level and nearly impossible at the federal level. Locally however, I prepare a number of resources each year to help make it easy and, I want to make sure you know about them. The following are available in the 'Meeting Minutes / Taxpayer Resources' section of my website:
The first is our property tax rates. See which rates apply to you and how they compare to other parts of our county. You can also view rates for prior years.
The second is a property tax breakdown for District Two. For each dollar you spend, see how it is divided among all taxing units.
The third is access to view all of Owen County Government's 2017 Budgets, some of which are funded by property tax.
Lastly, here is information concerning due dates and payment options:
Spring installment = May 10th
Fall installment = November 13th
US Mail = PO Box 600, Spencer, IN 47460
In-Person = Owen County Treasurer's Office, located on the first floor of the Owen County Courthouse, weekdays 8am to 4pm, except Good Friday, April 14th.
In-Person = Spencer branch of The Peoples State Bank (your tax statement bill slip and payment by check only are required for this option), located at 304 E Morgan St, during their business hours.
On-Line = GovTech Tax Pro website, with a credit card or e-check (a vendor fee will apply).
Owen County Treasurer's Office, 812-829-5011
- Written by Anton K Neff
OWEN COUNTY LOCAL INCOME TAX
Did you know? During a certain number of hours each day, the Owen County Sheriff's Department operates with an inadequate staffing level of jailers and dispatchers. It's been a concern for years. Additional staffing needed to fix the problem has been requested by our current and past Sheriffs but, we have unfortunately not had access to the resources to fund it. In addition, we have funding deficits for our central dispatch operations in general, and courthouse security, that may need attention soon.
Just this year, the Governor signed into law several changes to the Local Income Tax (LIT) code for all Indiana counties, effective July 1, 2016. Among those changes, counties now have the option of increasing their LIT rate to raise new revenue. Public safety is one of the allowable purposes.
Over the next couple months, the council will be evaluating the latest revenue projections available and formulate budgets. We are hopeful that normal growth in existing revenue sources, as well as the fine-tuning of final staff configurations, will shrink the overall amount needed. I cannot speak for the six council members that serve with me, but I’m sure they would agree that before increasing any tax rate to generate new revenue, we should exhaust all other ways to develop acceptable budgets within the current confines of existing tax revenue sources. That includes cuts from other areas, taking advantage of any updated revenue capacity, and/or a phase-in over two or three budget years, to name some examples.
Owen County's LIT rate is currently at 1.3%. It is estimated that up to $269,052.15 in funding is needed. As of now, with no other offsets or changes in existing revenue, the possible LIT rate range that matches up to that amount is between 1.37% and 1.4%. For a taxpayer earning $15/hour, a 1.37% rate would cost one additional penny per hour. For a taxpayer earning $30/hour, a rate of 1.37% would cost two additional pennies, and so on. Although we’re talking pennies, there is no amount too small that should preempt the public’s opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions. I welcome, encourage, and expect it.
Here is a link to detailed tax impact data by rate and household taxable income:
Please take a few moments to let me know your thoughts relating to this subject. Here are some example questions I am interested in getting feedback on:
1) Is adequate staffing of jailers and dispatchers of importance to you? To the county as a whole?
2) Are you generally supportive or opposed to the county council considering all options concerning the issues at hand?
3) If a rate change is made, do you consider a change from 1.3% to a new rate between 1.37% and 1.4% to be reasonable or unreasonable?
4) Are you generally supportive or opposed to adjusting the LIT by a small amount in order to address the concerns with jail and dispatch staffing?
5) What alternatives do you propose that can help us avoid changing the LIT rate?
6) Is there anything I can get for you in terms of additional information, or anything that needs further explanation?
Feel free to ask any follow up questions you may have. Thank you in advance for your time.
- Written by Anton K Neff
OWEN COUNTY GOVERNMENT'S 2016 BUDGETS APPROVED
We are very happy to announce that our 2016 budgets have been approved by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance. This is a result of the collective work of all of our department heads and elected officials. From the initial estimation and advertisement process, to early review, to only one final adjustment, then final action, we submitted our figures based on the best balance of continuing valuable county services and maintaining good financial health.
Use this link to the Taxpayer Resources Section of this website to view all county departments' and offices' budgets:
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
- Written by Anton K Neff
OWEN COUNTY COUNCIL BASICS - 2016
Hello! I'm Anton Neff and I am the District Two member of the Owen County Council. Last night (January 11th), the Owen County Council conducted its first meeting of 2016. Enclosed is information you may find helpful when you have questions about Owen County government or need assistance throughout the coming year.
WHAT IS THE OWEN COUNTY COUNCIL?
It is a seven member board consisting of four members elected from districts and three elected county wide. The Council reviews and sets county operating budgets, sets certain tax rates, establishes compensation for county employees, appropriates public funds, and has the ability to secure financing for county government projects. The Council also makes appointments to several local boards and committees.
WHO IS, AND HOW DO I REACH MY DISTRICT'S COUNCIL MEMBER?
Anton Karl Neff
Owen County Councilman, District 2
306 N Park Ave
Spencer, IN 47460
(812) 829-4254 Home
IS THERE A WEBSITE FOR DISTRICT TWO AND OWEN COUNTY GOVERNMENT?
Yes--there are official websites for both.
District Two: http://www.antonkarlneff.com
On this website, you will find:
-A schedule of upcoming meetings
-Minutes to meetings for the County Council, County Commissioners, County Plan Commission & Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Owen Valley Fire Territory
-County office telephone numbers
-Links to Owen County businesses, churches, organizations, local utility companies, media, recreational facilities, and other governmental entities.
-Occasional surveys and information on certain issues
-Taxpayer resources and tax analysis
Owen County Government: http://www.owencounty.in.gov/
On this website, you will find:
-County Departments' information
-Meeting minutes files
-Notices & alerts
-Forms and publications
-County staff contact information
IS THERE A DISTRICT TWO FACEBOOK PAGE?
Yes--please visit that page and "Like" it to stay connected with local information:
WHO ARE ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE OWEN COUNTY COUNCIL?
Jennifer Abrell, At-Large member (Vice President)
Irma Jean Franklin, At-Large member
Andy Wood, At-Large member
Nick Robertson, District 1 member
Anton Karl Neff, District 2 member
Chuck Hess, District 3 member
Patty Steward, District 4 member (President)
WHEN DOES THE COUNTY COUNCIL HOLD PUBLIC MEETINGS?
Regular meetings and budget hearings are open to the public and you are invited!
Regular monthly meetings are held at the Owen County Courthouse on the 2nd floor 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, at Noon. Regular monthly work sessions (a new feature for this year) are scheduled for the fourth Monday of each month at 7:00PM and will be used as needed. All agenda inquires can be directed to the Auditor at 829-5000.
Annual budget hearings are also held at the Courthouse and are usually conducted in early September.
Special meetings, additional work sessions, executive sessions, and committee meetings can also occur as needed and 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 finances, budgets, compensation, funds, taxes, etc., as noted above. If you have a question that is outside the realm of the County Council's duties, I can still help point you in the right direction for assistance. Communication is a two-way street and I often contact folks in the District to ask for their opinions and insight on issues as well.
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 specifically requests that I keep their name confidential when I work to address an issue, I will honor that.
Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to working with you!
|Owen County Council Regular Meeting|
Owen County Courthouse, 2nd Floor Meeting Room
Mon May 08 @ 7:00PM