At the same time, Tyler acknowledged that Democrats will now control both city and county government locally and with that control comes expectations.
“This isn’t going to be easy,” he said. “. But I think people will be pleasantly surprised.”
WALKER/ROYSDON REPORT: Tyler: No ‘good old boys club’
The cats out of the bag now. The newspaper reported today the city might be millions of dollars short in property tax revenue. Ouch. Back in ’09 the city was $4 million dollars short and by the time the past administration left office, there was $7,596,218 balance and the tax levy decreased in 2012 from 2011.
According to the paper, and nothing has been printed to the contrary, the city ended 2012 with $8 million and the tax levy increased for 2013. The general fund was increased from $22.1 million to 24.5 million for 2013. Nora Powell, Muncie City Council and finance chairperson, asked the salary increases be removed from the budget, and she defended the 2013 budget voting yes to pass it.
Asked by Brad Polk: “Where’s the money coming from for the Channel 60 director? We didn’t have the money last year. … All of a sudden, presto! We have (the funding).”
It’s coming from property taxes,” said Democratic council member Linda Gregory, who joined Polk in casting the only votes against the budget. “It’s coming from the general fund.”
This council over the past four years found it necessary to make cuts,” Gregory said. “I think we need to be mindful of tax rates.”
Source: Muncie Star Press Muncie City Council votes 7-2 to adopt 2013 budget
The property tax rate for Muncie went from $1.52 to $1.93 per $100 of assessed value or 26.97% increase.
Audrey Jones, Muncie City Controller said the increase may be due to unrealistic budgeting by the previous mayor. Today he pointed the finger at the State of Indiana. I think we should remember mayor -elect Tyler’s words:
Don’t blame the State of Indiana for approving your increased budget and don’t make excuses for the increased tax rate. If the city is ending with $8 million dollar (.5 million more than 2011). Chop, chop, Mayor.
We watched as the county spent on economic development, a nickle here and a dime there until only $800,000 in the general fund remained to operate the whole county. Tsk, tsk. The city is following in their footsteps. One of the city’s biggest expenditures was to hand over $1.8 million from the 911 fund. That money was promptly deposited into the county general fund where it went to restore unsustainable salaries. Smaller expenses include a $300.00 funeral ham, lunch with 25% gratuity, a day at the Indianapolis Speedway and other sundry items.
The property tax caps seem to be the object of disdain by the elected officials and their supporters. I wonder why we had money problems prior to the caps? Oh, well, the history of financial shenanigans and the cost of good old boys government will be left for another day, I suppose.
Mayor Dennis Tyler proclaimed “the sky’s the limit” for Muncie at a State of the City address before the Muncie Rotary Club. Star Press 1-25-12