Princeton Township voted to raise its levy for the first time in over a decade to combat degrading roads.
The township raised its 2022 levy to $381,750, an increase of $41,555, or 11.7%, over the previous levy during a continuation of the township’s annual meeting.
Township board members argued the increase on the levy was necessary to catch up on road maintenance projects that they say had been neglected in the years prior.
Chairman Eugene Stoeckel pointed out that while the levy has not been raised in over a decade, the estimated market value of the township increased by 50% since 2009.
Supervisor Bill Whitcomb likened the levy to a sheet cake. Each homeowner’s “slice” was how much they paid into the levy.
Under his example the set levy is the whole cake. If it were say, $1,000, each homeowner would pay $10. If the levy remained the same, but the number of homeowners doubled to 200, their “slice” of the levy would drop to $5, according to Whitcomb’s metaphor.
While the decrease in costs looks good on paper, Whitcomb pointed out it has a downside as well.
“That looks great because everybody’s cost is going down, but that’s actually also a negative because now we only have $5 (per household) to maintain roads that are getting more use,” Whitcomb said.
If instead the township increased the levy so everyone continued to pay $10, in the metaphor, that would double the amount the township brings in, Whitcomb argued.