No tax increase for Dexter residents, but utility rate hikes on the horizon
Dexter residents won’t be seeing a tax increase next year, after all.
But they will see a 3-percent increase in their water rates and a 6-percent increase in their sewer bill, and trash collection rates will remain the same.
So, for a family using 10,000 gallons of water during a 2-month billing cycle, the increase will be $6.30 or $3.15 per month.
That average family is paying $161.72 for water, sewer and trash pick-up every two months. With the unanimously approved rate increases, that family will now pay $168.02 every two months.
“This falls in line with the rate study (which was done in 2006),” said Council Member Ray Tell. “Finally, these are truly enterprise funds. It’s taken 15 years to truly make these enterprise funds (rather than the village supplementing them with general fund dollars).”
The study done in 2006 provided a cost analysis for the utilities, which, as enterprise funds, must pay for themselves. The 6-percent increase for sewer rates will pay for a sludge improvement project that the village plans to undertake.
The utility rate increases take effect on July 1.
As for the millage rates, the village published a public notice indicating that there was a draft proposal for an overall 1.1116 millage rate increase -- 0.8807 mills for general fund and an increase of 1.0646 mills for streets - for a total millage of 14.6678, the maximum allowed.
Village President Shawn Keough said he’d received a few notes of concern about the potential tax increase, and several other council members said they’d also heard from village residents who were not in favor of it.
“I went back and forth on this,” Tell said. “Why don’t we wait until we know what we’re doing, let’s let it (the millage rate) stay where it is for one more year and try to keep everything constant. There's so much going on, let’s settle down a little bit.”
Council Member Joe Semifero said year after year, the council says it never hears anything from residents about the millage rates.
“Now we have five or six comments about it and I think this speaks for itself,” while reminding his council colleagues that it took five votes, not four votes to raise taxes.
The original motion to approve a tax increase was withdrawn, and replaced with one that kept the current millage rate of 13.5562. This marks the seventh year in a row that the village has not increased taxes and has held the millage rate constant at 13.5562.
The Village Council is expected to discuss and approve its about $3 million operating budget at the June 25 regular meeting.