M'ville to file appeal to make up for property tax shortfalls

2012-09-25T22:15:00Z 2012-09-25T22:56:18Z M'ville to file appeal to make up for property tax shortfallsChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
September 25, 2012 10:15 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | The town is asking the state Department of Local Government Finance for additional money.

Town councilmen on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution to file an excess levy appeal.

Town Administrator Howard Fink said Merrillville is seeking $1 million to make up for a shortfall in property tax collections during the past three years.

Town officials said there is no guarantee Merrillville will receive additional funding by filing the appeal.

About three years ago, Merrillville was successful in a previous excess levy appeal it filed with the state, Clerk-Treasurer Eugene Guernsey said.

Merrillville received $1.35 million through that appeal.

Guernsey said Merrillville saved funds by having Fink complete the current appeal process for the town, instead of paying Jim Bennett, Merrillville's financial consultant, to handle the work.

In other business, Councilman Don Spann announced Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle "Gabby" Douglas will be visiting the region Oct. 15.

Spann said he has been collaborating with Douglas' grandfather, Theodore Hawkins, to coordinate events in Merrillville during her visit. Hawkins is a Merrillville resident, Spann said.

Proposed events include a parade with Douglas and her family.

Spann said he plans to coordinate a visit to Merrillville High School, where the town would provide Douglas with a key to the town.

He said the school's orchestra, choir and gymnasts could perform during the program.

Douglas also is expected to visit Gary while in the area, Spann said.

"You're to be commended for that initiative," Councilman Richard Hardaway said of Spann's work.

Hardaway also asked Spann to try to include Andrean High School in Merrillville events.

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