The Vernon Township Council on April 25 adopted its 2022 municipal budget, calling for a 0 percent tax increase, the first time the budget hasn’t called for an increase in six years.
The township’s $29,815,00 budget calls for a tax levy of $18,975,458.26. The 2021 tax levy was $ 18,975,394.75.
It passed by a 4-0 vote. Councilman Harry Shortway was absent.
Township Chief Financial Officer Donelle Bright said on April 7 the tax rate moved from 0.771 to 0.676 since the March 23 budget session. The average home in Vernon township is assessed at $237,000 up from $206,000 last year and the average home in Vernon will pay $1,605.
Bright said that is less than the average family pays for its cell phone. The average taxpayer will pay $4.03 per day for the municipal budget.
Overall, the budget is about $1.9 million higher than last year’s budget.
In addition to inflation, health insurance for employees has increased by 14 percent. Social security and pension payments have risen by 8 percent.
Bright said there has been an increase in capital expenses of about $500,000.
“I’m very proud to say that this is going to be the fourth time that I voted on a budget where it was either no increase or there was a decrease,” Township Councilman Brian Lynch said before the vote. “I am so proud that we were able to give Vernon a 0 percent increase budget in 2022.”
Township resident Jessie Paladini said while she as glad that there was no increase, she asked that the next time the council scrutinize some of the items a little closer because she was troubled to see certain items increase as much as they did, and there could have been more of a decrease.
“I think we all worked tirelessly,” Councilman Mike Furrey said. “ I think we looked at the budget very carefully. Contrary to maybe what some people have said, we took a very close look at it and seriously considered everything and I’m proud of the fact that we were able to do that.”