Putting together a municipal budget is a complicated task, but as
village trustees here found out Monday night, when a key assumption
a budget is based on is in jeopardy, the task is made even more
In order to
make up for a $170,000 shortfall from the village’s tax incremental
district, a special utility district tax was created to be imposed,
according to Village President Kevin Scheunemann, on those who own
property in the TIF but have yet to develop it.
in the TIF, located at the southern end of the village along and
behind busy Highway 45 and consisting of 54 commercial and
residential parcels, will be assessed a tax of $80.62 per $1,000 of
assessed value of their property.
tax was designed to force those who own vacant property in the TIF
to develop it or sell it to someone who will,” Scheunemann said.
“Developing the property will generate income that will make the TIF
Or the TIF
property owner can decide to simply pay the new tax — or not — and
that’s what troubles the trustees as they contemplate a budget that
counts on taxpayers paying up. Washington County collects our taxes
and pays the village up front, Scheunemann said.
“If a property
owner doesn’t pay their taxes, it is up to the county to go after
that person to get the money,” Scheunemann said.
the village needs an answer to is: Will the county also collect this
special utility tax for the village and if, in case someone doesn’t
ante up, will it be the county’s responsibility to deal with the
defaulter, as with regular taxes?
“I asked for an
answer in writing a couple of weeks ago,” Scheunemann said. “We need
to know one way or the other. Our attorney feels they should collect
this tax the same way they do our regular taxes. If the county
decides not to do it, we may need to take some corrective action.”
As the 2016
budget stands now, the proposed tax rate is $6.40 per $1,000 of
assessed value, down from $6.42 last year. Village Administrator
Matt Heiser told trustees during the meeting adding that on a
$200,000 home means a $4 decrease.
hearing on the budget will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at the
Municipal Building, 204 First St.
action, the village board adopted an ordinance that increases the
compensation for elected officials to take effect following the
April 2017 election.
increases the annual salary from $1,000 a year to $1,700 for
trustees with the village president receiving a salary of $2,200, up
The pay rate
per diem was also increased from $30 per meeting to $40.
Heiser said the
raises were recommended by the village’s administrative committee
after comparing salaries for elected officials of other
voted against the raise, with the five trustees voting in favor.
Trustee Jim Wright was absent from the village board meeting and
Reach reporter Linda McAlpine at