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No second forum planned in McCleary

McCLEARY — McCleary Mayor Gary Dent has canceled plans to conduct a forum in July, which would have provided information about police property tax measures on the August ballot.

Dent said that a forum conducted last week didn’t go the way he had wanted with several in the crowd who “didn’t behave in a civil manner.”

Dent said there were 138 chairs at the VFW Hall in McCleary “and I’d be surprised if half were filled. … That shows there wasn’t a big crowd the first time and I doubt we’d get many for a second forum.”

Dent chided two council members, whom he called “the minority” for getting the crowd “riled up.”

Dent had originally promised two town hall meetings — one in June and one in July, closer to when ballots were being sent out. Asked if he thinks there were people waiting to attend the July forum, he said he doubted it.

“It appears the forum is being hijacked by people with an agenda,” Dent said.

The McCleary City Council is asking for voters to consider a levy lid lift that would garner an extra $62,000 a year for the next six years; as well as a dedicated property tax levy of $110,000 that would just be for one year.

The M&O levy for police protection would increase taxes by an additional $1.14 per thousand of a property’s assessed value. That means an extra $114 on a $100,000 home. This measure would need a 60 percent voter approval to pass.

The levy lid lift would raise the city’s property tax levy from the current $2.56 per thousand of a property’s assessed value to $3.18 per thousand.

That’s an extra $62 on a $100,00 home. The levy lid lift would just require a simple majority vote of 50 percent-plus-one-vote for approval.

That means if voters approve both measures, it’d be an extra $176 that they would be paying in property taxes to the city next year.

Should both measures pass, and taking into account the school levy and other special property districts, including the Timberland Library District, and City Attorney Dan Glenn noted in a recent memo to the City Council that the full property tax rates paid next year by McCleary residents will be more like $4.32 per thousand. That’s a full $432 on a $100,000 home in McCleary.