Budget Brings $39 Tax Hike to Average Sparta Home
Proposed municipal spending plan totals $24 million.
The Sparta Township Council will introduce on March 12 a proposed 2013 municipal budget that calls for a $39 tax increase for a home assessed at the township’s average, roughly half the increase of the previous year.
Township Administrator David Troust presented the tax figure Tuesday at a council budget workshop where he and finance director Grant (Sam) Rome outlined the new budget for the council. He said it is the smallest percentage increase in the past four years.
The $24 million spending plan will be introduced at the next council meeting, said Mayor Gilbert Gibbs. The council also scheduled a workshop session before the public hearings on the document, set for April 9.
Gibbs said the council should be prepared to detail their questions at the workshop session on March 19.
Deputy Mayor Molly Ann Whilesmith said she planned to examine the budget “line-by-line” to compare the new figures to 2012 expenditures.
Troust said the 2013 budget came in below the state mandated 2-percent cap, at an increase of 1.77 percent.
An owner of a home assessed at the township average of $295,600 would see a $39.54 increase in their tax bill, Troust said.
The estimated 2013 municipal tax bill would be $2,027.
In 2012, the increase was $80. The 2012 municipal tax rate was 66.2 cents per $100 of assessed value, and the owner of a home assessed at the township average of $301,368 paid $1,988 in municipal property taxes.
The proposed budget shows steady progress in managing the township’s finances, Troust said. In 2010, the budget increased 5.92 percent; in 2011, 5.23 percent; and in 2012, 3.14 percent.
The 2012 municipal budget called for $23.53 million in spending, with a local tax levy of $15.6 million.
The tax levy for the proposed 2013 budget is $17.02 million, and state aid is expected to be flat, $1.2 million, Rome said.
Impacts on the budget include $450,000 in lost taxes due to increased tax appeals, and a drop in the total valuation of the township, reflected in a drop in the average assessed value from $301,368 in 2012 to $295,600 for 2013. Rome said Sparta’s total property value dropped $2.776 million.
The 2013 value of the township is about $2.355 billion.
In 2012, the total value of the township was $2.358 billion, down $37 million from 2011.
Rome said several commercial properties are expected to be added to the tax base this year, which should help level off the total value of the township. Troust said the township must conduct a revaluation of all properties by 2015, which should help reduce the number of tax appeals.