The 2015 property tax levy was set Thursday by Cape Girardeau County Commissioners. Property owners will be paying a lower property tax this year. A public hearing was held before the vote, but no one appeared to speak. Auditor Pete Frazier presented the proposed tax levy rate of $0.0349 to the commissioners last week. The amount, which is based on a calculation mandated by the state auditor’s office, is about 43 percent less than the 2014 rate of $0.0609. Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy says the “robust” sales tax collection in the first half of the year contributed to the lower tax levy. Another factor is a surplus amount from the end of 2014 that was factored in to the calculation. The six-month estimate the county uses to calculate a number for the year’s sales tax typically is lower or higher than the actual total reported in December. The deficit or surplus is carried over and included in the calculation for the next year’s levy. County Treasurer Roger Hudson previously has explained a surplus of more than $149,000 was factored in to this year’s calculation, which meant a bigger reduction. The 2015 rate is the first decrease since 2012, the year the county had to bring the levy rate up from zero because sales tax revenue no longer was sufficient to cover expenses. Besides the general revenue rate, commissioners also voted to set the property tax rates for senior services at $0.0478; $0.0772 for the mental health board; and $0.0772 for the Senate Bill 40 board, which oversees tax funds collected for a sheltered workshop for people with developmental disabilities.