By Gordon Hopkins\nJefferson County Commissioners have decided not to raise the county\u2019s tax levy for the next budget year.\nBrian Blobaum, CPA with Blobaum & Busboom PC, has been working with commissioners for several weeks on the new budget. Blobaum told commissioners at a meting on Tuesday, August 24, \u201cThis budget leaves $803,356 more reserves in the prior year budget that we did a year ago.\u201d\nWhile the county is in a better financial position than in the previous year, Blobaum warns that is likely due to exceptional circumstances that cannot be counted on in the future, \u201cWe had a very fortunate year in inheritance fund receipts and we had some COVID money involved here, too.\u201d\nBlobaum also suggested that there were possible circumstances that might require a levy increase in the future, \u201cI think that, obviously, we can\u2019t expect the things that happened this last year to repeat. Do I think you\u2019ll be back asking for more property tax in the future? Absolutely.\u201d\nCounty Commissioner Mark Schoenrock said, \u201cMy thought would be to, we just keep the levy rate the same as last year.\u201d\nOne consideration is ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act of 2021) funds. Also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package or American Rescue Plan, ARPA is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the 117th United States Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, to speed up the United States\u2019 recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The difficulty in the use of ARPA funds is that they can only be used in relation to the pandemic, and the exact guidelines have not yet been established by the federal government. Commissioner Gale Pohlman said, \u201cI know we\u2019ve talked in the past about ARPA funds for, like, Region Five, Hope Crisis Center, things like that. If we can leave the levy rate flat and not have to use them, we will continue to have that trump card next year.\u201d\nPohlmann said, \u201cI think we ought to just leave the levy flat.\u201d\nCommissioners did not vote on the levy at that meeting.\nFirst, a hearing must be held to allow members of the public an opportunity to give input. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 11 a.m. at the Jefferson County Courthouse.