Village to reduce its property tax levy
Updated: December 5, 2012 1:12PM
DEERFIELD — After he was directed the previous week to work on reducing the village’s piece of the property tax levy it shares with the Deerfield Public library, Finance Director Eric Burk showed trustees at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting that they could reasonably reduce their burden on the taxpayers.
If no further changes come about in the next two weeks, trustees will tentatively be voting to levy $9.2 million, as opposed to the initially presented $10.14 million.
The Truth-In-Taxation public hearing was held in response to Burk’s initial presentation at the board’s Nov. 26 committee of the whole meeting, where he explained that the combined property tax levy for the village and the library would be more than 5 percent higher than it was the year before.
When Trustee William Seiden expressed his concerns about the residents’ ability to afford the increase, Mayor Harriet Rosenthal instructed Burk to work on calculating a lower levy to present before the board at the next meeting.
Accordingly, Burk came to Monday’s meeting with a proposed abatement of about $1.36 million, which would be absorbed by the village’s cash reserves. He added that the general fund levy could be further reduced by absorbing another $26,000.
“We are going to use reserves to make up those costs, so we aren’t going to lose a person or stop a project,” Burk said.
Financial Advisor Chris Shih, from Northern Trust, followed Burk’s presentation with news that the village would be paying only 1.8 percent in interest—or $453,690—on the morning’s sale of about $9.075 million in bonds. The amount issued was due to the general obligation debt incurred from the village’s remaining wastewater reclamation facility improvements and the library’s renovation project at 920 Waukegan Road.
While the first abatement of $1.36 million brought the property tax levy amount of $10.14 million to around $8.78 million, and the second of $26,000 to $8.75 million, Burk said that the $453,690 would ultimately result in a levy of nearly $9.2 million.
Village Manager Kent Street said that using cash reserves to pay for the water treatment plant made more sense, in that those that will benefit from it over the next 20 years should pay for it.
Trustee William Seiden shared the notion that the water treatment plan should be levied instead of absorbed.
“As far as the current debt service for the water treatment plant, I, for one, have always thought of that as a separate assessment,” Seiden said. “That, to me, shouldn’t look at reducing the reserve at all.”
Neither the $26,000 reduction to the general fund levy, nor the bond sale was included on the agenda because both came to fruition after the agenda was made public.