The Brownsburg Town Council voted Thursday night to adopt the town's 2013 budget of $39.9 million with a property tax rate decrease of .1008, a more than 12 percent tax cut.
The town administration's efforts to cut costs and increase efficiencies resulted in a General Fund budget decrease of more than $147,000 or 1.88 percent.
The town saved $40,000 on employee benefits with a change to its longevity pay program. That adjustment will show a savings of more than $1.4 million over 10 years. Civil town employees will not receive a cost of living pay raise in 2013, but will instead be eligible for merit increases from a $28,000 pool.
The town saw an increase of $77 million in assessed value, due in part to the Brownsburg East Annexation. The increase in AV, coupled with savings achieved by finalizing the Town Hall building lawsuit, made the tax rate cut possible. How the rate cut will impact individual residents' property tax bills will vary, based on if they are at the property tax cap.
Brownsburg Town Manager Grant Kleinhenz said, "We are so pleased that we can reduce the tax rate, especially in these tough economic times. It's not often a taxing district can do that, but thanks to the East Annexation the current rate gets spread over more taxpayers, allowing the reduction."
While the 2013 General Fund is reduced, other funds such as EDIT and the utility funds will see modest increases. These increases will help the Town complete capital projects, economic development, and community improvements planned for the coming fiscal year. Some of those include:
- Improving Northfield Drive East and West;
- Completing the US 136 & Odell Street intersection realignment;
- More than $1 million in sidewalks and street overlays;
- Engineering and design for an 1-74 bridge at County Road 700; and
- Wayfinding signs and streetlight banners.
Town Council President Dwayne Sawyer credits the balanced budget and tax rate cut to good stewardship.
"We're seeing a number of local municipalities with budget woes taking extreme of measures to cut costs right now," Sawyer said. "Some of our neighboring communities are eliminating pay raises for employees, cutting positions, and reducing public safety to make up for shortfalls. Grant and his team worked hard to come in under budget again this year and find operational savings to lower the 2013 General Fund."
The town's budget is submitted to Hendricks County and then the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance in early November. The state's property tax agency certifies tax rates, levies and budgets in February.
Copies of the budget documents are available on the town's website at www.brownsburg.org, under Town officials/Clerk-Treasurer/Budgets.