Proposed Kane borough budget shows tax increase

Property taxes will rise in 2012 in Kane under a tentative budget adopted Monday by the Kane Borough Council.The proposed budget calls for a rate increase of 1.5 mills that will boost the overall property tax in Kane to $9.375 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The overall rate this year is 7.875 mills.The increase means that the owner of property assessed at $50,000 would see their borough tax bill climb by about $75 from $394 to $469.Council President Howard Kane joined with Councilwomen Janet Bard and Holly Harris and Councilmen Dennis Drost and Mike Merry to endorse the tentative budget that carries the tax increase. Councilman John Gentilman cast the lone negative vote. Councilman Jim Salvamoser did not attend the meeting.Bard, chairman of council's Finance Committee, said "it's tough" to present a budget that calls for a tax increase due to the dismal economic conditions."We know people are hurting," she said. "But how do you pay the bills? We can't give people I.O.Us."Kane said the tax increase is "something we need if we want to keep our services."Gentilman said "I'm opposed to a tax increase." "The population has left and we want to raise taxes? No one has pronounced cutbacks," Gentilman said.The tax rate for "general purposes" climbs from 5.2 mills to 6.7 mills under the tentative budget. Other tax rates remain the same to boost the overall tax rate from 7.875 mills to 9.375. These rates include: 1.5 mills for street improvements; .5 mills for street lighting; .5 mills for fire improvement; .15 mills for recreation; and .025 mills for shade trees.The general fund in the budget sets revenues and expenditures at $1,221,069.Bard said the Finance Committee, which includes Harris and Merry, went over the budget "line item by line item" to see if there are areas that could be cut.She said it "just isn't possible" to make cuts in many areas of the spending plan.The tentative budget now is available for public inspection at the borough building along Bayard Street. Council is expected to adopt a final 2012 budget when it meets Monday, Dec. 12 at 4 p.m.Even though a proposed budget has been adopted, council decided Monday to hold a "workshop" to review the spending plan. This "workshop" is scheduled next Monday, Nov. 21 at 3:30 p.m. at the borough building. The public is invited to attend.Based on the review at the workshop, the budget could be revised before a final version is adopted, Kane said."It could be changed," he said.This means the budget could be cut-- or even raised, it was pointed out.Drost said the workshop would give the entire council a chance to "brainstorm" and come up with ideas.See full article by purchasing the Nov. 15 edition of The Kane Republican.