AUBURN — Residents of Union Township might notice something unusual on their property tax bills for 2012.
A zero appears on the line listing what they owe in township taxes.
Union Township Trustee Craig Bassett is not collecting any taxes for 2012. He will operate the township on large surpluses that have built up over the past couple of decades.
Bassett said a change in state tax rules made it possible for him to cut taxes to zero.
“Now, we can lower or zero our tax levy for a fund without being locked into that levy forever,” Bassett said.
In recent years, state officials advised Bassett not to reduce his tax collections — even though the township had plenty of money — because he would not have been able to reinstate the tax rates later.
At the end of last year, Union Township held $257,000 in reserve in its operating fund, and its “poor relief” fund had $157,000 in reserve — both enough to last more than five years without collecting taxes.
“I personally would like to see the maximum amount of money in the bank to be no more than two years’ worth of assistance and general costs. So we have some work ahead of us to get us there, but I believe by doing this, it helps,” Bassett said.
The township is spending some of its surplus cash to improve its office at 427 W. Seventh St., Bassett said.
“Some are much-needed,” he said about the improvements. “We are using the office to allow counseling for drug and alcohol clients and for returning veterans. The improvements will help us continue that.”