DANVILLE — The budget process for Vermilion County is just getting under way, but already predictions look positive for taxpayers.
Vermilion County Board Chairman Gary Weinard confirmed Wednesday the county is working toward a goal of not needing a tax increase for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on Dec. 1.
“Our intention is certainly to the hold the line on what we expect our constituents to pay in taxes, at least the county portion,” he said. “I think we’ve figured it out that way and I believe that’s going to be the case.”
The county is in the middle of the budget process currently, with committees discussing and voting on budgets from a number of the offices and departments.
Keeping with the intended schedule, Weinard said budgets for the various departments will be brought before county board committees through the rest of July and the first part of August.
The plan is for Weinard, along with financial resources director Nikki Bogart and finance and personnel committee chairman John Alexander, to sit down and go over the figures during the latter part of August. It would then be brought before the full county board in September.
“The budget process is well under way,” Weinard said.
The final must be approved before Dec. 1 — the start of the county’s new fiscal year. The budget also must be put on display for public inspection for 30 days prior to board approval. Last year’s budget was not approved by the full county board until its November board meeting.
That budget also included a property tax increase for the first time in seven years for Vermilion County taxpayers. The increase equaled out to $5.60 for a person who pays a $1,000 property tax bill, $14 on a $2,500 tax bill and $27 on a $5,000 property tax bill.
The increase was as a result, in part, to the county taking over the Juvenile Detention Center in 2012. The extra costs — just more than $500,000 — were covered in the 2012 fiscal year budget by fund balances.