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Merrillville Council adopts $46.5 million 2023 budget

Northwest Indiana Photos website

The town of Merrillville plans to dip into its American Rescue Plan money to help balance the 2023 budget. The town council last week adopted a budget of just over $46.5 million dollars, a reduction of about $1.1 million from the initial proposal.

Financial advisor Eric Cender said about $600,000 of that was cut out of the public safety income tax fund. "A lot of that was expenditures for the police department that you'll need to pay for, but you have ARPA funds to cover those," he explained.

The other half million in cuts involved various items in the general fund. Cender said the 2023 budget wouldn't raise tax rates, but property owners could still pay more, due to an increase in assessed values.

Meanwhile, employees in the clerk-treasurer's office had their pay raises approved, after several weeks of delays. Clerk-Treasurer Kelly White Gibson previously said she decided to forgo a pay raise the council approved for her, so her employees could get raises, instead. But council members initially held off on approving her request, amid concerns that she'd actually taken the raise herself.