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Volo limits levy increase to 3 percent

VOLO – The village is not constrained by the state tax cap law but plans to follow its guidelines, adjusting its property tax levy to a 3 percent increase on last year’s tax base, Village President Burnell Russell said.

The tax cap limits villages, school districts other tax bodies to an annual increase of 5 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, plus money that new growth generates. The inflation rate, based on the Consumer Price Index, was set at 3 percent.

Volo is a home-rule community, which exempts it from the tax cap law.

“We levy higher so we can get all the new growth that we can because if you don’t levy high enough, you don’t get the new,” Russell said.

Despite falling home values, he said he expects ­Volo’s total assessed value to be about the same as last year because of new construction.

Within the levy, the board has shifted some of the funds, cutting $30,000 from the personnel budget and adding $15,000 for maintenance of parks.

The village plans to go without an administrator for a year, said Russell, who does a lot of that work. And Assistant Administrator Eric Tison will pick up some responsibilities in exchange for an extra $5,000 pay. Russell said he did not have an exact figure, but that Tison earns between $60,000 and $70,000 a year.

The Village Board also is setting up a committee to oversee repair and maintenance of recently acquired parks.

The missing piece of the budget is the legal and engineering costs associated with hooking up to Lake Michigan water, Russell said. Whatever the costs, though, they’ll be covered through yet-to-be-determined cuts, not additional revenue, he said.

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