Officials may lower base value to help overcome deficit

By Bethe Croy

Staff Writer

The Twin Lakes Village Board discussed the $9 million deficit in the village’s tax incremental financing district in their regular board meeting Monday.

The district, used as a financing tool for communities to build and develop, was created in 2007. With the issues the economy faced in 2008, the district’s property value has dropped by about 17 percent and is not generating tax revenue for the district.

Dawn Gunderson, senior municipal advisor and vice president of Ehlers and Associates, said readjusting the base value would take the district from $55 million to $43 million.

If the village were to do nothing, assuming no new growth in the district, they would clear the $9 million deficit just before 2035, Gunderson said, but would see another $2.7 in expenditures.

If the village adjusts the base, however, it could start to see tax revenue once again as early as the next fiscal year.

The issue becomes whether or not the state evaluation this year will show an increase as officials are hoping, or if it will unexpectedly drop, which could cause problems.

“We wouldn’t want to proceed with this if it were to go down again,” Gunderson said.

The last evaluation was done in 2012 right after the recession, so they are expecting growth in the upcoming evaluations this August, Village Administrator Jennifer Frederick said.

The favorite option of the board thus far, and recommended by Gunderson, is to make deals with future contractors to cover costs and help clear the deficit.

“I think the timing to do it is crucial now with these numbers,” Gunderson said.

The Village Board plans to revisit the discussion when more information becomes available.

 

Other business

In other news Monday, the board:

  • Approved a revised wage schedule, raising the wages of public works and wastewater sector workers by 1 percent and granting a $440 bonus to police union employees effective July 1;
  • Approved a request by a resident to land a seaplane on Lake Mary for the season’s Movies in the Park finale; and
  • Approved a motion to use village funds to pay for flowers or gifts for village employees.

“It shows a little bit of appreciation,” Vicky Skinner, village resident, said.

The village approved up to $50 to be used for the death of a village employee’s immediate family member, a deceased, ill or hospitalized former village employee, committee or commission member or the retirement celebration of a village employee.

Up to $100 can be used in the case of a deceased, ill or hospitalized current employee or elected official of the village.

 
 

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