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Village adopts 2017 property tax levy of $2.7 million

The New Lenox Village Board of Trustees decided to adopt its 2017 property tax levy of $2.7 million at its Dec. 11 meeting.

Comparing the amount requested in 2017 to the prior year shows an increase of $114,600, or 4.34 percent.

Officials were not required to hold a public hearing prior to voting because state law asserts that it is not required of requests calling for an increase lesser than 5 percent over the 2016 levy.

Given the state of the state, the Village prides itself on its ability to have collected one of the lower tax shares, compared to neighboring taxing bodies in years past.

“It is the village board’s desire to follow the tax cap, and the tax cap limits us to the [consumer price index] and new growth in determining our tax levy,” Finance Director Kim Auchstetter said after the meeting. “As a home rule community, we can request more, but we make it a priority not to. I think our property tax rebate would be looked at whether we could levy for more. … We strive to keep our rates low because the schools represent a greater share of the taxpayer’s bill. If we needed to replace the funds owed by the state, we could adjust the amount owed to residents through the property tax rebate program.”

In 2016, the Village’s tax share was lesser than those collected by New Lenox Fire Protection District, schools and the Will County Forest Preserve District.

Village board action on its tax levy is predicated, in part, on findings that account for $59,138 in new growth and $55,462 for inflation.

Current numbers for equalized assessed valuation of properties in New Lenox show the prior year’s tax rate of 0.3297 falling to 0.3245 percent. What that means is a home with a market value of $200,000 will pay $216.33 in estimated property tax to New Lenox.

If the Village’s total EAV decreases by the spring of 2018, at which point final numbers will become available, the tax rate will drop.

Information on the 2017 property tax levy was last reported at the Committee of the Whole meeting held Nov. 20.

With the revenues to be collected, the Village has determined it will cover 7.1 percent of its 2017-2018 operating budget of $38.5 million.

This year’s levy will be allocated toward payments for New Lenox’s police pension, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and Federal Insurance Contributions Act/Social Security.

In a unanimous vote, the board authorized the Village to submit its property tax levy to the Will County Clerk’s office. The filing deadline for this request is Dec. 26.

Abatement of property tax dollars paying for interest, principal on several bonds approved

Also at the meeting, the Board of Trustees authorized the abatement of interest and principal on several bonds.

The Village has identified alternative sources of revenue other than property tax dollars to fulfill these obligations, and it is no longer desired to levy for funds to satisfy this aim.

“That’s something we’re proud of,” Auchstetter said after the meeting. “We will abate 100 percent of the monies levied for them.”

Board action allows New Lenox to put to use money collected through water and sewer fees and general fund revenues, such as sales and utility taxes.

The Village has several 20-year bonds it has issued over the years to pay for projects, including work completed on Nelson Road, Village Hall, a public works garage, water and sewer improvements, and road improvements.

Round it up

A brief recap of action and discussion from the Dec. 11 regular meeting of the New Lenox Village Board of Trustees:

  • Officials authorized the release of a 2017 Ford Explorer. The Village has determined that it no longer in its best interest to retain ownership of the vehicle.

  • Trustees approved a surety reduction to ensure completion of landscaping improvements to the Prairie Ridge subdivision.

  • New Lenox officials granted a surety reduction to ensure the completion of onsite improvements to the Prairie Ridge subdivision.

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