Does the Village ever talk to or with the Township? 

We have a Village Trustees and Town Supervisor who are actually related to one another (brothers). And, a great deal of effort goes into making Osceola (both Village and Township) a single community with regard to public schools, local entertainment, and jobs. Much credit should be given to the Osceola Area Chamber and The Sun who serve the broader, common good. 

The reason for my question is related to the recent property tax hike in the Village which may very well benefit development of housing in the Township. Concurrently, there was a budget cut in the Township voted on by residents and taxpayers. 

None of this is necessarily a bad thing if the leaders of both municipalities are communicating effectively to serve the larger Osceola community. And, it would require open discussions and coordination regarding long term planning and zoning. 

As a matter of public record, I pay $2.22 per square foot in taxes for Pitch Blue Studio located in the Village. My wife, Kay and I pay roughly $1.15 per square foot for our old farm house in Osceola Township. Granted, taxes are not calculated based on space, but on assessed value. 

So, if I equalize for $100K of value for each of the properties, I would pay a total of $2,500 in taxes to the Village and roughly $1,700 to the Township. That means a $100K house in the Village has a tax bill that is $800 more annually. Oh, and most likely the Village home will have less square footage and less land for the same price. 

How does a prospective home buyer rationalize the difference when we in the Township have access to the same schools and the amenities of the Village. . . for much less? Will home owners in the Village consider moving to the Township as they retire on a fixed income? Wouldn’t the Village like to attract Township residents who wish to downsize and have less yard work as they retire? How does the Village tax increase affect the decision of potential businesses and employees considering a move from outside communities to the Village of Osceola?

I understand one of the Village Trustees expressed regret on Facebook for not asking enough questions with regard to the Discovery Center. As taxpayers, we should all regret not asking enough questions. 

No regrets going forward. Happy 2020!

Bernie Desmarais



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