By Leah Sander
WINONA LAKE — Winona Lake is “growing very fast.”
That was brought up by a representative with Baker Tilly financial consulting firm, Brandon Scruggs, during a review of the town’s planned 2023 budget at the Town Council’s meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at Winona Lake Town Hall.
Due to the town’s growth, Scruggs noted that there should be an adjustment made to the town’s maximum tax levy or “three year levy appeal.”
“(That’s) just to kind of recognize that if you’re growing that fast, then you need to be able to provide services to that growing community,” said Scruggs.
“Even with that appeal, you’re still going to see a nice tax decrease,” he said.
The town’s property tax rate is expected to decrease as net assessed valuation of property has expanded from $208,515,398 to $251,635,370 over the past year. That’s a 20.68% increase, said Winona Lake Town Clerk-Treasurer Laurie Renier.
For the budget, the council is considering an amount of $5,921,532, an increase over the 2022 budget of $5,459,722.
That breaks down to: $65,000 in casino/riverboat; $40,000 in rainy day; $1,595,816 in general; $89,500 in local road and street; $814,150 in motor vehicle highway; $5,000 in continuing education; $234,830 in park and recreation; $50,000 in cumulative capital improvement cigarette tax; $191,000 in cumulative capital development; $800,000 in economic development income tax; $0 in general redevelopment; $300,000 in TIF; $1,436,236 in wastewater; and $300,000 in stormwater.
The council plans to adopt the budget at its next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18, set to start at 6 p.m. at Winona Lake Town Hall.