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County budget might include property tax break

"Good news could be in store for Kitsap County homeowners next year, at least as far as property taxes go.It looks like property taxes won't go up at all, according to a 2001 budget revenue projections report released Monday by Kitsap County Administrator Malcolm Fleming. In fact, residents in incorporated Kitsap County could be paying about one-fifth less in property taxes next year compared to 2000 levels. Turns out that up to 35 cents of the current property tax rate, which was approved by voters five years ago to fund construction of the new Juvenile Detention Center, will not be charged next year because the juvenile facility is complete.That means property tax on a Kitsap County home valued at $150,000 will drop by about $51 next year, said Fleming. Put another way, rather than paying $268 at current levels, next year they will write checks for $217. Whereas the 2000 property tax rate was set at $1.79 per $1,000 of assessed value, the rate could be set next year at $1.45 per $1,000 of assessed value.Good news also is in store for homeowners in unincorporated Kitsap County. That's because their property taxes are expected to drop by about 9 percent next year.Also included in the projected revenue report was the recommended 2001 budget for the Kitsap County Public Works Department, which could total $122 million. The Public Works budget doesn't come out of the general fund. In his report, Fleming broke that figure down further, noting that the operating budget for the department is projected at $80 million, the capital budget at $37 million and the debt service associated with the sewer utility capital program at $4.5 million.Other recommended 2001 budgets projected for public works programs includes:* $24 million for the county road program's operational budget, which is supported by state and local revenues.* $13 million for the 2001 Annual Road Program, which consists of a combination of federal, state and local money as well as SEPA mitigation funding.* $4.9 million for the Surface and Stormwater Management Program operational budget and $2.8 million for the capital budget.* $10.2 million for the Sewer Utility operating budget and $14 million for the capital budget. Additional sewer funds include $11.3 million for replacement and improvement of systems, and $4.5 million for annual debt service.* $3.2 million for the Solid Waste program 2001 operating budget. The Solid Waste Division also administers capital and operation budgets associated with the county's three closed landfills that total $12 million. Other solid waste funds that include capital, debt and reserves, total $5.3 million* $13.9 million for other Public Works funds. "

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