Department heads in Jeffersonville, Indiana will meet next week to discuss how they plan to save $3.5 million in the city’s 2012 budget.
The city budgeted $22.8 million in property taxes last year, but according to the Circuit Breaker Report released this week from the Clark County Auditor’s office, property tax earnings are less than city officials thought. Indiana’s Department of Local Finance says Jeffersonville pulled in just over $19 million.
City attorney Les Merkley said city officials will now start talking about how they plan to fill the void.
“A $3.5 million gap is not that unrealistic. The council already anticipated that this will possibly occur, so we’ve got cushion we can play with,” he said.
There have always been shortfalls in property tax projections since Indiana began to implement tax caps for property owners in 2009, he said. The state created the caps to ensure property owners do not pay more than a fixed percent of the assessed value.
The city anticipated the cuts, said city controller Monica Harmon in a release from officials. Now, all departments will be reviewed for savings. And while there’s no timeline, the city is expected to work quickly, she said.
“The sooner the better, because at some point if we don’t make those cuts we’ll run out of money. So we want to get those cuts in place as soon as possible,” said Merkley.