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St. Joseph County Council to vote on increasing taxes

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—St. Joseph County officials say downstate legislation has hurt funding for crucial resources.

And now the council is set to vote on increasing taxes in order to cover rising county expenses.

“It’s not going to be politically popular, but it’s the right thing to do and I applaud the county council for their courage on this,” said Michael Hamann, St. Joseph County Auditor.

Asking taxpayers for more money might not be popular but Hamann says it’s necessary.

“This is going to take sacrifice and I think people are willing to make a sacrifice if we’re going to be able to invest in things that will make county government work more efficiently,” he said.

The council will soon vote on a bill that would increase the Cumulative Capital Development Fund.

Council member Corey Noland says the fund has been shrinking for 15 years.

“What I’m trying to do here is to make up for a few lost years where it didn’t reset and get it back to a level that is sustainable,” said Noland.

By resetting the rate to about $.03 per $100 assessed value from the current $.018, the county would receive an additional $1,000,000 in revenue.

It’s a much-needed increase for rising expenses.

“We’re just trying to effect things on the margin and we think it’s very reasonable,” said Hamann.

So what does this mean for the average homeowner?

If your property is valued at $100,000, you’re looking at paying an additional $7 to $8 a year.

This also means school districts would have to pay up a bit more in taxes annually.

That’s concerning for some council members, but worth it to most.

“We don’t want to overspend, we don’t want to spend frivolously, but we need to spend what is important and needs to be spent in order to have a viable community,” said Noland.

 

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