Munster property tax disbursement 'substantially lower than anticipated'

2014-01-12T00:00:00Z Munster property tax disbursement 'substantially lower than anticipated'Lu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 12, 2014 12:00 am  • 

MUNSTER | Officials are concerned about the lower than anticipated amount of property tax revenue and tax increment financing Munster received on Dec. 27 from Lake County.

Announcement of the second disbursement of property tax revenue and tax increment financing revenue for the town was made at a recent Munster Redevelopment Commission meeting. The exact amount of the property tax disbursement wasn’t available at the meeting.

The property tax revenue was “substantially lower than anticipated. We received 90 percent (of property taxes), due primarily to tax caps. That is the lowest rate in modern times,” said Clerk-Treasurer David Shafer.

Usually Munster receives between 93 and 97 percent of property tax revenue, he said.

Property tax revenue accounts for the majority of the financial budgets for Lake County taxing units.

“We may be short taxes. We’ll be looking at other sources of revenue,” said Town Manager Tom DeGiulio.

Tax increment financing revenue came in $500,000 less than anticipated, Shafer reported. Instead of $2.7 million, Munster received $2.2 million.

The Redevelopment Commission is composed of the five Munster Town Council members — John Edington, Andy Koultourides, David Nellans, John Reed and Joseph Simonetto — and Munster School Board Vice President Judy Florczak, who is a non-voting member. This group controls use of the TIF revenue.

This reduction in expected TIF revenue affects the commission's plans for future economic development.

“I’m very unhappy we’re not able to set aside money for the grade separation (at Calumet Avenue and 45th Street),” said Simonetto, who served as Town Council president and Redevelopment Commission chairman during 2013.

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