After this morning’s news conference announcing the 2022 Civil City Budget, we spoke with Garry Mohr, City of Fort Wayne Controller.
The City projects an increase of 4.3% of growth in assessed property values over the last year. This is the “highest increase we’ve ever seen,” Mohr added. The 4.3% increase translates to an additional $6 million increase to the City. Again, these are the best estimates they have available at this time. The increased assessed values are due to new construction of homes, businesses, and improvements to properties.
When asked what effect this will have on individual taxpayers, he responded, “It’s very difficult to determine. Right now, our estimate is that the most it will go up is 1%. I think it’ll actually come in with a tax that will actually be reduced, and that’s happened actually the last three years in a row – our tax rates have gone down. And part of it is because of that new growth.”
The most a residential taxpayer might have to pay is 1% of the assessed value. This is due to property tax caps enacted by the Indiana General Assembly almost a decade ago. In other words, if the amount a taxpayer has to pay is over 1% of the assessed value, it would be limited to 1%, which means lower property tax bills for some taxpayers. Commercial properties, which include rental properties are capped at 2%.
He went on to say that this is huge for the City as it will allow for $41.5 million in improvements. “It wasn’t that many years ago, even like ten years ago, we were probably in the $10-12 million a year that the City was able to put into streets and roads and sidewalks, trails, and $41.5 million it’s a record. And it’s really, I think we should be thrilled that we have those kinds of funds.”
The overall message Mohr heard from the City Council and the public was more trails, infrastructure, and sidewalks. “That’s what we’re doing.” He went on to point out they’re doing this without adding debt. In fact, the City will be paying off two bond issues next year. “That’s something to be said,” he added.
And all of this without an increase in the tax levy rates for next year. “Not at all. Nope,” he finished.