WARSAW – The holidays came a little early for Warsaw city taxpayers on Monday, Nov. 25.
That’s when Mayor Joe Thallemer informed City Council that the state had confirmed the city tax rate would drop nearly ten cents next year.
The rate will drop from 1.2797 to 1.1822 per $100 of assessed value.
The reduction has real benefits for property owners. For a homeowner whose property carries with it $100,000 in assessed value, the reduction means they will save $100, Thallemer said.
The city had held the city tax rate steady for three years, previous to Monday’s announcement.
Such a steep decline is uncommon and is the result of annexation that was completed more than a year ago and increased the city assessed value by about $151 million.
City officials knew the tax rate would go down significantly, but had been unsure how much because the state allows municipalities to increase the levy a certain amount to provide extra cash to cover expanded services that coincide with annexation. Thallemer had tempered his predictions as a result.
The last time the city tax rate was as low as next year’s rate was in 2013 when it was $1.1714 and Thallemer was in his first term.
Thallemer said the tax rate reduction is a result of a sustained growth strategy.
“We’ve created a good environment for the community for growth and we’re seeing it happen.”
“We’re obviously very fortunate what we have here, but to see what we’ve been able to do and then make a big impact, it’s very gratifying.
Thallemer pointed out that the change doesn’t allow the city to collect more taxes, but rather, spreads out the revenue among a broader tax base.
City council’s meeting late Monday afternoon was needed to review a tax form from the state necessary before the budget is finalized.
In what appears to be the final cut in the budget, the council chose to remove $3,500 from the police budget that had been intended for rental of a police motorcycle.
Councilman Jerry Frush had complained about the expenditure a few weeks ago, saying it was a waste of money. He proposed cutting it earlier this month.
On Monday, the council voted 4-3 to make the cut. Those supporting it included Frush, Cindy Dobbins, Ron Shoemaker and Michael Klondaris
Those opposed were council President Diane Quance, and council members Jack Wilhite and Jeff Grose.