Thanks to everyone who attended the VRA meeting on Nov 1. I realize it was a tough night with a lot of other meetings – I myself was double booked! – and appreciate the few people who were able to be there.

Here are a few notes from the meeting:
1. Progressive Dinner. If you have paid your dues for 2022, you’ll receive an email on Thursday at 7pm with information to register for the annual progressive dinner. The link is a perk for those who have paid their dues so please don’t share it with others.

2. Dues. We haven’t raised dues for about 15 years, and we’ve had several unexpected expenses this year in relation to events. The town now requires us to pay both a town fee and insurance for every event, which is about $250 each time. We voted to raise dues to $30 per household or $20 for an individual. This will be for 2023 dues for anyone who hasn’t already prepaid.

3. Board elections. We elected the board as follows:

President – Heather Lusk, VP – Aaron Walton, Treasurer – Phil Martini, Secretary – Erin Effner, Special Projects – Sally Zelonis

4. We had a great discussion about meetings for 2023 and ways to communicate with Village residents, with a goal to gain (and retain) members. Look for more information in early January with our schedule – we have some fun ideas on deck!

5. Gutters. We try to clean the gutters of the SullivanMunce annually as a thank you for letting us use their building for meetings for free. We were hoping to clean them Saturday, but with the projected rain we’ll be doing it on Sunday at 9 a.m. with a goal to finish by 10:15 so we don’t interrupt the church service. Anyone available to help, please come to the museum at 9 with gloves and a bucket. We’ll bring some ladders.

Heather Lusk

From Town Council

I’ve spent more than a few times in this update talking about the budget.  It’s not exciting stuff generally, and I’ll warn you this month’s update follows suit in terms of that lack of excitement.  I do think it is important for you to understand the budget process at a high level, and some of the rigidity in the process we must follow.  It’s the most important thing we do in Town Council and also dictates how your local tax dollars end up getting spent.  The following is a calendar of steps the Town/Council takes to get our budget approved:

  • June 30, 2022 – Pre-Budget Survey – The Department of Local Government Finance (“DLGF”) collects certain information prior to the budget season from local governments. The pre-budget survey information is used to facilitate improved budget forms setup and to provide additional data for annual estimates of maximum levies and property tax cap impact (revenue estimates).

  • August 9, 2022 – County Review of Maximum Levies and Circuit Breakers – The Boone County Council Meets on August 9th to review the estimated maximum levies and circuit breakers for each taxing unit – including the Town of Zionsville – and then prepares and distributes a written recommendation or distributes the minutes of the meeting once approved.

  • October 12, 2022 – Notice to Taxpayers – This is the last day for the Town to post notice to taxpayers of proposed budgets, tax levies and public hearing for the ensuing year (Budget Form 3) to Gateway.   Gateway is the State system that collects all the budget information and ensures it is correct.   The notice must be posted at least ten (10) days before the public hearing, which must occur at least ten (10) days before the adopting of most taxing units.

  • October 22, 2022 – Last Day for Public Hearing – The last day for the Town to hold a public hearing on the 2023 budget.  Public Hearing must be held at least ten (10) days before budget is adopted.  This deadline is subject to the scheduling of the adoption meeting, which could be held on or before November 1.  Public hearings often happen at the scheduled Town Council meetings, although they can happen during special meetings if necessary.  All are publicly posted and available to attend or view online.

  • October 29, 2022 – Last Day for Taxpayer Objection – The last day ten or more taxpayers may object to a proposed 2023 budget, tax rate, tax levy of the Town.  Objection must be filed not more than seven (7) days after the public hearing.  This deadline is subject to the scheduling of the public hearing.

  • November 1, 2022 – Last Day for Town to Adopt 2023 Budget – Deadline for the Town Council to adopt 2023 budgets, tax rates, and tax levies.  If a taxpayer objection is filed, the Town Council shall adopt with the appropriate 2023 budget a finding concerning the objections in the petition and any testimony presented at the adoption meeting.

  • December 31, 2022 – Deadline to Adopt Salary Ordinance –   Deadline for the Town to adopt a salary ordinance for non-elected officials.  We have a salary ordinance that defines the range of what each position pays, and that employee’s compensation must stay within that range to be valid.  The ordinance must be adopted the year before its effective.

  • December 31, 2022 – Last Day for the Town Council to Approve Additional Appropriation Requests – This is the last day the Indiana DLTG will accept additional appropriation requests for the current year budget from the Town.  Additional appropriations are spending that wasn’t in the budget originally.  For example, if we needed to buy a new ambulance and it wasn’t in the budget, we could vote to spend that money regardless and assuming the Council feels it is appropriate and affordable.

  • December 31, 2022 – End of the Calendar Year
  • January 1, 2022 – Beginning of the 2023 Calendar Year

There are other steps we take during this process that aren’t defined by the State.  For example, the Mayor may choose to present her budget, or we may choose to have a budget workshop to discuss how the money should be spent before it is filed with the State (both happened this year and both were public meetings).

If you’ve made it this far, hopefully you have a slightly better understanding of how government finance works.   Have a Happy Halloween and be careful driving around the Village on the 31st!

Josh Garrett

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