Westfield City Council mulls property tax relief, other items


The Westfield City Council met Aug. 14 in the Assembly Room at Westfield City Hall. The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug 28.

What happened: Hamilton County Councilmember Brad Beaver gave a presentation about a property tax relief resolution. To attain property tax relief, Beaver proposed a gradual rise in the county income tax over four years, resulting in a total increment of 0.25 percent. The increment would align with the corresponding 0.25 percent reduction in the individual income tax rate that Indiana implemented in 2022. The money generated is expected to be $53 million after four years.

What it means: The resolution would provide property tax relief through the form of an increase in the Homestead Deduction. The relief would only be available to homeowners who qualify for the Homestead Deduction, which currently applies to 103,500 properties. To qualify for the homestead credit in Indiana, you must reside in your own home on land not exceeding one acre and you must have owned the property by March 1 of the current property tax year.

What’s next: The resolution must be approved by at least 50 percent of the Local Income Tax Council to pass. The LIT Council consists of Hamilton County, Town of Arcadia, Town of Atlanta, City of Carmel, City of FIshers, City of Noblesville, Town of Sheridan and the Town of Westfield. The resolution needs to be decided by Oct. 1 to go into effect for the 2024 tax year.

What happened: Westfield Chief of Staff Jeremy Lollar gave a brief presentation on the 2023 Q2 budget review period from April 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023.

What it means: The Q2 budget is about 14 percent under budget for the quarter. It was noted that a couple of departments, Contractual Service for Public Works and Admin Services, were significantly over budget for the quarter because of contracts being paid upfront for portions of expenditures that extended into Quarter 3.

What happened: The Bonterra PUD Amendment 1 was put forward for adoption consideration.

What it means: The amendment to the original Bonterra PUD would add additional land uses to 2.5 acres of real estate in the northwest corner of the Bonterra PUD, about 500 feet east of the Shady Nook Road and Ind. 32 intersection. The original PUD allowed for commercial office space. The amendment includes more restaurants and retail stores. Councilmember Troy Patton motioned to approve the ordinance. The ordinance was passed 5-0.

What happened: A portion of right-of-way along East Street is being vacated from public right-of-way and turned over to the adjacent property owner, Carrington Mortgage Services.

What it means: The land was acquired during construction of East Street between 196th Street and Ind. 38. The road had to be diverted around a water tower that was already in place, and the entrance to Carrington Mortgage Services has to be relocated. During negotiations with Carrington, the city agreed to give back the portion of land when construction was complete. The ordinance fulfills that obligation. Councilmember Cindy Spoljaric motioned to approve the ordinance. The ordinance was passed 5-0

What happened: Sundown Gardens requested approval to have food trucks on-site during its fall festival.

What it means: Sundown Gardens will host a fall festival over a series of Saturdays in late September and early October. Sundown Gardens would like to have food trucks on-site from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 23, Sept. 30, Oct. 7 and Oct. 14. Spoljaric motioned to approve the ordinance. The ordinance passed 5-0.

What happened: Venezuelan Cheat Meal sought approval to have its food truck at 15164 Thatcher Lane to stay in place through November.

What it means. Venezuelan Cheat Meal is attempting to secure a lease on retail space at Carey Road and Ind. 32 but needs to remodel the property to begin operating in the building. In the interim, the business is seeking approval to continue operating from the food truck. The truck is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Councilmembers Jake Gilbert and Spoljaric were concerned about extending the approval because it would be the second time it has been extended. Their concern was related to playing favorites with regard to restaurant owners who operate in brick-and-mortar buildings and pay property taxes. Councilmember Troy Patton motioned to approve. The motion carried 4-1 with Gilbert voting no.