By Claire Walla
Though North Haven Village had entertained the thought of imposing a minimal tax increase this year, that plan was promptly abandoned.
At a village board meeting last Tuesday, April 3, the board voted unanimously to keep the tax rate the same as it was last year — in fact, board members pointed out, they kept it the same as it’s been for the past five years.
According to figures presented by Village Clerk Georgia Welch, the village is looking at a budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year of $1,326,330. This represents an overall increase over this year’s operating budget of 1.38 percent.
“We’ve been a very responsible board and kept the tax rate the same,” said Mayor Laura Nolan, emphasizing the board voted not to increase taxes despite rising costs and revenues that are down.
While the village’s fire contract is expected to go up by about $9,000 for next year, village assessments have not increased by as much as they had in years past. At $1.47 billion, assessment numbers for the 2012-2013 fiscal year are up about $5.6 million over this year’s value. From 2009 to 2010, however, assessment values increased by about $126 million.
In addition, building permits are down, having fallen from 117 last year to 80 this year. Besides taxes, this is one of the village’s only sources of direct revenue.
To balance the books, the village will take $351,197 from this year’s fund balance — which is expected to total about $700,000 at year end — and apply it to next year’s budget.
While the village had already voted to pierce the two-percent tax levy cap, which was adopted by the state last year and imposed for the first time during the 2012-2013 budget process, it was unnecessary. The village’s tax levy came out just under the two-percent limit.