By Gus Pearcy
A fast-growing town such as Brownsburg needs money to accommodate the growth. State law is inadequate when it comes to growth in assessed value against the tax rate. When that happens, cities and towns must ask the Department of Local Government Finance for an excess levy.
Brownsburg is making a request of the DGLF for an increase in the levy, as approved by the council Thursday evening.
Town Manager Jeff Eder told the council in the Oct. 10 council meeting that the excess levy would raise about $150,000 each year. With it, Brownsburg can hire three police officers and even a planner in the next two years.
Eder said that the town qualifies to ask for the levy based on the growth in assessed value or the increase in property values.
“We’re growing at a much quicker rate than what the state allows us to grow our normal levy,” Eder said. “So, we need to go out and appeal that increase in the levy and be able to collect these dollars on an annual basis.”
Eder told the council that the tax rate itself would not increase because of the increase in the growth.
Council President Brian Jessen asked if the cost of pursuing the levy increase, attorney and financial consultant fees, is worth the gain. Eder told him that the cost was not nearly what could be gained because the excess levy would be collected every year.
Jessen also said the Brownsburg Fire Territory would be requesting an excess levy appeal in their budget process next year for the same reasons.
“We’re growing both in population, road miles, areas (where) we need to provide additional services such as police, such as street workers and that takes bodies, manpower and dollars to do that,” Eder said.