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Plymouth Clerk Treasurer Responds to WTCA Article on County Council’s Comments on Permanent Supportive Housing

July 31, 2019

Xaver, JeaninePlymouth Clerk Treasurer, Jeanine Xaver wasn’t able to attend the July Plymouth Redevelopment Commission meeting but had a statement she prepared read at the meeting pertaining to comments made during this month’s County Council meeting.

Xaver statement pertained to County Commission Mike Delp’s question to the County Council as to why they weren’t supportive of the permanent supportive housing project on West Jefferson Street.  When council members responded… their comments included: not being supportive of residential developments using TIF funds, funding limitation due to reduced revenues and this specific project being in a TIF District and the city capturing funds that the county could use to support the project.

Councilman Jon Van Vactor said in the Council meeting on July 8th speaking to Mr. Delp, “Mike, we do have some skin in the game because there’s a TIF District out there and the money they are using is Redevelopment Funds and those would have been tax dollars that would have come to the county had it not been captured in the TIF District.  So we have skin in the game. So does the schools. So does the library. So does the township, because they are glomming on to all those tax dollars that would have come to us that we would have had the we could have contributed to that project but they’ve already taken.”

The Plymouth Clerk Treasure’s statement said, “I would like everyone to understand that the permanent supportive housing project is NOT located within a TIF district.”  Her statement continued, “I would concur that all local taxing entities are facing reduced revenue due in part to circuit breakers.  While the state legislators reduced the funds available to local taxing jurisdictions through property taxes (in our case: the City of Plymouth, Marshall County, Solid Waste District, Plymouth Public Library, Plymouth Community School Corporation and Center or West Townships, depending on where the property is locate), making themselves heroes, they allow counties, cities and towns (depending on the individual tax) to adopt local Wheel Taxes and Public Safety taxes, which, if adopted, would help fund our police, fire, EMS and Sheriff departments.”

The City Clerk’s statement continued, “As an elected official, I understand that local councils and commissions don’t want to adopt new taxes to offset income lost from taxes reduced by the state – no one wants to tell their neighbors (and the people who elect them) that they are passing new taxes.  But the reality is, that is the position that state legislators put us in.  The loss of revenue and increased costs are an unfortunate reality of running a household, business and government.  That’s why it’s so vital and appreciated that our city department heads are cognizant of and stay within their spending limitations.  That’s why it’s so important that our councils and commissions understand the fine balance between what they want to fund and what they can fund and find a way to balance the two without breaking the bank.”

Xaver closed her statement saying, “That’s why the clerk-treasurer is tasked with staying up-to-date on new laws, continuing education offered through the state, Indiana League of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers, and other professional organizations; and has the unfortunate responsibility of telling the council and department heads when they cannot spend money and advising the council to increase rates and taxes.”

Xaver also read the statement during the Common Council meeting on Monday, July 22nd and reiterated that NO TIF funds are being used for the permanent supportive housing project.