Albion village officials try to trim tax increase

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 April 2015 at 12:00 am

ALBION – A tentative village budget would raise taxes by 7.3 percent, but Mayor Dean London said the Village Board and department heads will work hard to bring that increase down.

He would like to avoid a tax increase over 2 percent. To do that, the board will need to chop about $130,000 from the budget.

The board has already cut many costs from the 2015-16 spending plan, and trustees said they will try to find more expenses to trim.

The board will meet Saturday to go over the budget and has scheduled a vote for 7 p.m. on April 22 to pass the budget. It must be adopted by April 30.

The tentative budget includes $6,562,504 in the general, water and sewer funds. The village would need to collect $2,640,662 in taxes as part of the budget, which is up $180,333 from the $2,460,329 in 2014-15.

If the village raises taxes by 2 percent that would be about $49,200 more in taxes, rather than the $180,333 in the tentative budget.

“We still have our work cut out for us,” Trustee Gary Katsanis said during Wednesday’s board meeting.

Albion already has one of the highest village tax rates in the region at $17.48 per $1,000 of assessed property. The tentative budget would raise that by $1.29 to $18.77.

The village has seen the rate climb in recent years as the overall tax base of the community went down. A year ago the village lost $2.7 million in assessed value. The latest numbers show another decline, but only by $60,830. The village’s taxable value for 2015-16 will be $140,690,261.