Good news for homeowners

There are two sure things in life – death and taxes. Due to strategic planning and development, the latter will be a little easier on Westfield residents this year. Mayor Andy Cook said the city’s planning is paying off in real money for taxpayers as the city’s tax rate has dropped by four cents on the dollar, from 84 cents to 80 cents.

“I’m very proud of the work our community is doing,” Cook stated, adding Tax rates are comprised of six categories – city, county, schools, library, solid waste and township. “We’ll keep working hard to make sure Westfield is the place you want to be.”

Four cents may not seem like a lot, but that’s per $100 assessed valuation. So a home with an AV of $100,000 could save $40. What’s not to like about the government taking/needing less of your pay?

Cook attributes the accomplishment to an increase in assessed valuation, as well as the retirement of a $2 million general obligation bond. He also stressed the importance of strategic commercial development in the area.

“One of my goals as mayor is to diversify commercial development in order to alleviate the burden on taxpayers,” he stated. “As our community continues to work together on great initiatives like Grand Park, we will hopefully be able to help more of our residents keep more money in their pockets.”

According to the last Dept. of Local Government Finance report, Westfield’s Non-Utility Expenditures per Capita in 2010 were $384.18. How does that compare to other Hamilton County municipalities? The state average was $684.46 and only Atlanta had a lower rate, $305.83. Fishers ($481.47), Arcadia ($456.74) and Cicero ($639.10) were also below the state average, while Sheridan ($824.46), Noblesville ($977.03) and Carmel ($1,009.72) were all well above the state average.

“I say we are more efficient than any town or city in Hamilton County,” Cook said.