No raises, budget increase for Valpo city workers
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent September 25, 2012 12:22AM
Updated: October 26, 2012 2:20PM
VALPARAISO — Under the proposed 2013 budget, city workers will not get raises, and expenditures will increase about $1.4 million.
Most of that — about $1 million — is for increasing employee health care costs, City Administrator Bill Oeding said.
There will be some revenue, estimated at $300,000, for paving streets from the new garbage, but the remains of the increase are police and fire pensions, Oeding told the Valparaiso City Council Monday.
However, the exact budget isn’t known yet, despite its going before the Porter County Council for approval today at 5 p.m.
The budget is essentially two different budgets, Oeding said.
One is with the Valparaiso Fire Territory, which combines Central Township and the city under one fire protection entity, and the other is without.
The city and Central Township both passed ordinances creating the fire territory on March 28.
However, the Department of Local Government Finance said the two didn’t properly publish the proposed tax increases before the meeting or the public hearings the two governing bodies held.
Because there is no appeal process, the Center Township Board of Trustees and the Valparaiso City Council both had public hearings re-affirming their votes to create the district and to share fire protection costs.
Both government bodies published the proper notices.
Valparaiso has provided fire protection to Central Township since 1995, and the rate the township paid increased $80,000 annually so township residents would gradually pay what city residents do.
However, Indiana’s 2008 tax caps stopped the increases.
If the Department of Local Government Finance approves the territory, Valparaiso property taxes would decrease one cent per $100 of assessed value except for homes more than $135,000 in 2013 and 2014.
Township property taxes would increase by $39.32 per $100,000 home over 2012 taxes and $78.32 per $150,000 home.
If the Department of Local Government Finance doesn’t approve it this time, the city and township will start the process again come January.
“We’re pretty determined to get this through,” Oeding said.
The city’s 2013 salary ordinance had its final vote Monday and passed.
The city budget has a public hearing Oct. 8, where residents can comment on it.