Monday, April 21, 2014

Times Reports Porter County General Fund Hit Hard by Tax Caps

From the Northwest Indiana Times:

Porter County government is slated to lose even more money this year from its general fund as a result of the property tax caps, according to a state report issued last week.
Porter County Councilman Jim Biggs, R-1st, said he intends to call for a moratorium during next week's meeting on all new spending until the group has a better grip on the worsening financial problem and the various county departments heads are on board with a solution.
Biggs and other members of the council said only Porter County Auditor Bob Wichlinski has responded to their call to find ways of reducing spending.
Porter County has the ninth largest population in the state, yet is fifth in the value of its property upon which the amount of tax revenue is based, he said.
"It's ridiculous to say we have a revenue problem," Biggs said. "We have a spending problem."
Porter County Council Vice President Karen Conover, R-3rd, said she believes it is time for council members to discuss taking the even bigger step of rolling back the various department budgets to the amount spent last year.
The overall revenue loss among to all units of government countywide due to tax caps and the over-65 credit is up by 2 percent this year over last, according to the second annual report compiled by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.
But there is a 16 percent loss this year to county's general fund, which supports the core of county government services with property tax revenue.
The cities of Portage and Valparaiso also lost money this year due to the tax caps.