UPDATED: Township Library Tax Forces Slight Municipal Property Tax Increase

Township Manager Robert Vornlocker presented the proposed budget to the Township Council.

Updated: The Township Council unanimously passed the budget at its May 10 meeting.

Township property owners will have to dig a little deeper when paying this year’s municipal property tax bill.

That’s because a $544,000 state-mandated increase in the amount to be raised in taxes for the public library turned what was a 1 percent decrease in the municipal portion of property taxes to a slight increase.

The Township Council introduced its $76,331,848.97 spending plan for 2022 at the April 12 meeting. The budget, up $13 million from the 2021 budget, is powered by a $35,487,867 tax levy, up $351,365 from the 2021 levy of $35,136,502.

That previous tax levy amount had remained constant from 2018 through 2021.

The municipal portion tax rate per $100 of assessed valuation for the 2022 budget decreased from last year’s figure, from 32 cents per $100 to 28 cents per $100. That’s thanks to a 13 percent increase in the township’s assessed valuation, from 2021’s $11,094,767,831 to 2022’s $12,524,680,778.

See the proposed budget here.

That actually results in a slight municipal portion-only tax decrease for the owner of the township’s average-assessed home – $392,297 – Township Manager Robert Vornlocker said.

But the state-mandated formula for funding the public library – based on a town’s ratables – requires an additional $544,000, which, when added to the municipal portion, results in a total municipal tax increase for the owner of an average-assessed property of from $1,421.75 in 2021 to $1,443 in 2022.

The main factor behind the $13 million increase in the Township’s budget was $8.2 million in grants, more specifically the $7,735,197 American Rescue Plan grant, Vornlocker said. He said the Township has until 2026 to allocate that money.

The amount raised in grants does not represent an increase in spending, Vornlocker said. He said the budget has to account for all money that is received and spent.

The Township also had to absorb a $1.5 million increase in the costs of salaries and wages. A little more than a third of that increase – $590,000 – is earmarked for two full-time and 12 part-time Youth Center employees, five new Public Works employees, an additional IT employee and two additional part-time Police Department employees to administer the body camera and police vehicle camera programs.

Also contributing to the budget increase, Vornlocker said, was:

  • a $2.1 million increase in the capital improvement fund, mostly to pay for more road resurfacing
  • a $462,000 increase in pension and Social Security expenses
  • $395,000 increase in health insurance costs

Helping to defray any further increase in taxes, Vornlocker said, was the use of $13,790,895.34 in the Township’s fund balance, also known as the budget surplus. Mayor Phil Kramer said the Township has about $28 million in the fund balance, which he said he’d like to see at about $22 million.

Mayor Phil Kramer reiterated that Township-controlled spending resulted in a $12 decrease in the municipal portion of property taxes.

“That is mainly because the assessed value of commercial properties went up more than the average home went up,” he said.

Kramer said teh increased assessment gave the Council leeway to raise the tax levy by 1 percent.

“Because for the average homeowner it’s actually going to be less money,” he said. “But they will pay more money because of the library tax and the open space tax, but we have no control over that.”

Deputy Mayor Crystal Pruitt said the budget highlights “the importance of getting things accomplished and providing the services and the quality of life that every resident deserves and is requiring and pays into with their taxes. I think this is really reflective of what we’re attempting to do.”

The Council has set May 10 as the date for the budget’s public hearing.

Your Thoughts


Please Support Independent Journalism In Franklin Township!

No other media outlet covering Franklin Township brings you the depth of information presented by the Franklin Reporter & Advocate. Period. We are the only truly independent media serving the Eight Villages.

But we can only do that with your support. Please consider a yearly subscription to our online news site; at $37 a year, it’s one of the best investments you can make in our community.

To subscribe, please click here.

Other News From The Eight Villages …