Mount Pleasant trustees could raise property taxes by nearly 20 percent next year to help close a $2.6 million budget hole.

During budget talks this week, board members discussed a variety of measure they could take to avoid the tax increase, The Journal Times is reporting, including asking department heads to revisit their budgets to trim as much as possible.

Under the current budget proposals, the village’s annual budget would jump from $17.6 million to $20.2 million, the story continues. Property taxes would rise from $7.53 per $1,000 of assessed value to $9.09 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Trustees agree they can’t cut their way to a balanced budget and balk at raising taxes. Board member David DeGroot acknowledged that while other taxes – the school district, for example – have gone up, Mount Pleasant taxes have stayed flat, which is now contributing to the budget shortfall.

“I hate to hear these words come out of my mouth: we’re not taxing enough,” he is quoted as saying. “We’re not getting enough revenue coming in to meet the needs of the village. That’s something we have to step up and get serious about.”

Village department heads will present their revised budgets sometime this week. A statutorily required public hearing about the budget will be scheduled in the new few weeks. Trustees will vote on the 2017 budget at the beginning of November.

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