Mayor Andy Cook and Westfield City Council announced they have lowered the tax rate for 2012, despite approval from the Dept. of Local Government and Finance to significantly raise the tax rate.
Cook said the city’s assessed value dropped nearly $35 million from 2011 to 2012. As a result, the DLGF approved the city to raise property taxes to compensate for the loss in assessed value.
“Instead of raising the rate to the authorized amount, it is our responsibility to be a fiscally responsible municipality. Furthermore, instead of raising the tax rate, we’ve responded to the economic realities and we were able to slightly lower the rate,” said Cook. “We are constantly looking at developing ways to deliver services to our citizens in the most efficient ways possible.”
The City of Westfield municipality receives approximately 25 percent of a typical household’s tax bill, and Westfield Washington Schools receive nearly 65 percent of the tax bill. The other 10 percent is divided between the Westfield Library, Washington Township and Hamilton County.
“We hope the other taxing entities will also strive to lower their rates so residents can begin to see decrease in overall tax bills,” Cook said.
According to Cook, city officials hope to continue the downward trend as it relates to the city tax rate, and will continue to work with other government units to drop overall tax bills for residents and businesses.