At the Vermilion City Council Meeting on Monday, January 6, 2020, Amy Hendricks, Finance Director, reported that updated property values will provide an estimated $28,000 in additional real estate tax revenue for 2020. The General Fund will receive approximately $19,000. The remaining will be spread across Parks ($3,600), Fire ($4,900) and Police Pension.
The new Transient Lodging Tax, that began in April 2019, added just under $9,000 for a little over half a year's collections. This falls in line with initial estimates of $15,000 to $20,000 for a full year of collections originally estimated. The City of Vermilion should experience additional growth in 2020 due to collections on all reservations prepaid through Airbnb, etc. in 2019 and early 2020, that the April start date did not include. The City should also have all operators set up for collections after the transitional year.
“We are aware of properties operating that have not registered with the Erie County Auditor as of December,” stated Hendricks. “If they have not registered and paid for 2019 rentals by the end of January, we will implement additional enforcement including the fine of $250 per day outlined in the ordinance.”
The Finance Director also reported the City is working on the December month end closing, as well as calendar year end. The first payroll of the year was January 3 and the new negotiated agreement will be implemented for all employees of the Police Department effective January 1 for the next payroll.
The City is also implementing the new medical insurance rates for 2020, as well as the employee payroll deduction rates.
“Consultants at NFP worked hard to bring down the initial 17% rate increase quoted to 9% in the end,” said Hendricks. “The timely cooperation from all employees in providing the responses to the Form Fire Health History information allowed NFP to have real time information to present when discussing rates with providers.”
Wellness screenings were moved to late fall in cooperation with the Joint Health Care Committee to allow for everything to be ready to go to start the year. Debit cards were loaded with eligible benefits to use by January 2, 2020.