A levy or income tax increase could be in the cards for Wellington residents if the village’s financial picture doesn’t change.
The 2017 tax budget, passed by village council July 18, shows just a $5,114 difference between what officials hope to see in income and plan to spend on expenses next year.
The breakdown: estimated revenue comes in at $13,736,458 and expenses are at $13,731,344.
“Going forward I think we might have to check into increasing revenue,” said Wellington finance director Vanya Hayles at the meeting, saying tax hikes are options.
Hayles said measures to increase revenue aren’t planned for this November’s ballot and would have to go into a five-year forecast. She added that estimated budgets coming out this time of the year tend to change a great deal before the actual budget comes out at year’s end.
Last year’s estimated expenses sat at $15.9 million with revenue of $13.8 million before being revised to $17.1 million in expenses and $14.4 million revenue. When actual numbers came in later in 2015, the village had broken even with $14.2 million of expenses and revenue.
“Approval of grants and loans during the year can cause these sort of changes,” said Hayles. “Usually you hope your budget is close to your actual numbers at the end of year. Things happen, though, that can make a big difference in those numbers.”
According to Hayles, Wellington has not had a levy in her 18 years working for the village and the one percent income tax has never been raised in that same time.
“They’ve done some things like license plate fees in the early 2000s but we’ve never done any revenue increase with a levy or income tax,” she said.
Wellington has used the Regional Income Tax Agency to collect its village income taxes since 2013. Council said this has led to more people paying their income taxes but also a 14 percent increase in collecting costs in 2014 and 2015.
Mayor Hans Schneider said worries over revenue are “down the road” at this point but he and village council will continue to monitor the situation.
“Obviously this is something we don’t want sneaking up on us or residents,” he said. “This information was put out as it should have been and council will take it up.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise Wellington’s estimated tax budget revenue sits just $5,114 above expenses. A levy or change in income tax was mentioned as a possibility in the coming years.