Residents of Whitestown may see a slight increase in their property taxes.
The Whitestown Town Council voted 3-0 to approve a tax levy to help reestablish the Cumulative Capital Development Fund. Council members Kevin Russell and Eric Miller were not present at the meeting.
The tax rate will increase to $.05 per $100 of assessed value. The tax rate is $.033 and has generated an estimated levy of $83,074. The new rate is estimated to raise an additional $43,310.
“Homes at the tax cap would not see an increase,” Whitestown Town Manager Tom Combiths said. “It is a very minor increase. The cost to a town resident with a $150,000 home is $11.09 annually or 92 cents per month. If a homeowner is at the tax cap, under state law, there is zero increase in taxes paid.”
Combiths said the fund must be re-established annually.
“The fund must be re-established annually if there is a change, under state law, which the town has not done for several years,” he said. “The Department of Local Government Finance must approve the levy as well.”
Councilwoman Julie Whitman voiced her approval of the levy.
“It seems like a good idea,” she said. “The idea is for the fund to carry from year to year so we don’t have to take out a loan for buying any buildings, land or anything else like that.”
Combiths said homeowners had a tax rate decrease in the 2012 fiscal year.
“These funds can only be used for capital purchase, such as police cars, major fire equipment, new parks, trails, etc.,” he said. “They cannot be used for ongoing operating and maintenance costs.”
According to the staff report, the rate may be adjusted downward for certain factors.
Council President Dawn Semmler said the increase will continue until it is reduced or rescinded in the future.
ALSO AT THE MEETING
The council kept the lawn watering ban into effect, which was established on Friday, June 29.
“We’ll extend the ban until further notice,” Semmler said. “At this point, I think it would have to rain 40 days and 40 nights for it to get lifted.”
Combiths also said that residents should not worry if their drinking water as a sulfur odor.
“If there is warm weather, the reservoir can experience an algae bloom that will give the town’s water a sulfur smell,” he said. “This condition is not uncommon but does not negatively affect the potable water characteristics. It is still absolutely safe to drink according to national water quality standards. Water softener can remove the smell.”
Whitestown Police Chief Dennis Anderson announced the hiring of five Public Safety Officers, who will work for both the fire and police department.
“I believe that we are the first in Indiana to have this program set up,” he said. “It has really brought the two staffs closer together. It’s been a good boost in morale.”
The council’s next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at Town Hall, 6320 S. Cozy Lane.