Muncie Sanitary District provides $1 million in property tax relief in 2014
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - The Muncie Sanitary District approved $1 million in permanent property tax relief in 2014 by reducing storm water assessments for residents and business owners.
Bill Smith, president and administrator of the sanitary district, was happy the district could accomplish Mayor Dennis Tyler's desire to reduce taxes without impacting district services.
The sanitary board, including Smith and Mike Cline, also city engineer, approved a 15 percent reduction in storm water fees for non-residential properties like the hospital, university and other businesses. That would mean several thousand dollars in savings for some businesses.
And a 40 percent reduction in storm water assessments on homes was made permanent which will average about $72 in yearly savings for residents.
Cline said the district was able to reduce taxes because of a good bond rating and low interest rates on a $24 million note to finance combined storm and sanitary sewer separation and repair. And the district has cut administrative expenses and is doing more work with district crews to save more money
A past district administration raised storm water assessments 600 percent, a move that caused outrage among property owners and utility customers. Those excessive rates have been one of the top complaints of property owners paying taxes with the county treasurer..
Smith said the district also was trying to increase revenue by going to monthly billing on sewage utility bills. The current quarterly billing allows more delinquency and a longer collection turnaround. That billing could change by the end of the year and will help fund wastewater treatment and maintenance operations.