Knox Clerk-Treasurer Discusses Impact that Circuit Breaker Tax Caps Have on the City’s Budget

Knox City Council members were informed about some anticipated changes to local circuit breaker tax caps they met last Tuesday.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston said that on March 1st, he attended a meeting with the financial advisors at Umbaugh and Associates where they presented information about funding in local government and the analysis of assessed value.

He added that Mayor Dennis Estok, county representatives, local school administrators and other city and town officials were also in attendance at the March meeting. 

Houston said that in the report, Umbaugh advisors focused on budgets, projected levies and the tax revenues that could be collected in the future. When relaying the information from the meeting to the council members, he focused on circuit breaker taxes.

He said these taxes are billed but not collected because the city’s tax bill is capped between 1 percent and 3 percent. He said over the next several few years, the amount of money that will be withheld from the city due to the tax caps is anticipated to increase significantly.

Houston explained, “In 2017, the money that we would have been able to collect had their not been tax caps was $258,156.” He continued, “By 2025…that circuit breaker credit is projected to be $564,374, so half a million dollars out of our budget.”

He added that at the county level, the current figure of a little under $900,000 is expected to increase to about $2.4 million that will be withheld from Starke County’s budget through the circuit breaker tax caps.

Houston said he shared this information to ensure that the council members are aware of the expected changes when making any future decisions.