The Otoe County Board of Commissioners approved the 2017-2018 budget at its meeting Tuesday morning.
The proposed property tax tax request will be $7,301,168.23, which is up from last year’s property tax request of $6,760,061.77. Last year’s levy was 0.290199.
Commissioners approved a one cent increase, to 0.307840, in the proposed 2017 tax rate during the meeting.
Otoe County Third District Commissioner Jerad Sornson told the audience that the commissioners met with the heads of the different county departments during the budget process to hear their input on what items could be cut and what items needed to stay in this year’s budget.
“We had a 14 percent increase in the cost of our health insurance,” said Sornson, “and we crunched the numbers to make that work.”
During the meeting, the commissioners also voted to adopt a resolution that would approve a $1.5 million lease-purchase agreement on 911 communication equipment.
The lease-purchase agreement will have an annual interest rate of 2.1 percent and will mature in 10 years, according to Andrew Forney, vice president of D.A. Davidson, an Omaha financial services firm that acts as the underwriter for Nebraska Association of County Officials lease-purchase agreements.
Forney said there is no pre-payment penalty if the agreement can be paid off in less than 10 years.
The city of Nebraska City will be responsible for about 29 percent of   the cost of the new 911 communications equipment, based on discussions and decisions at past county and city meetings.