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Attendance at Montgomery tax levy hearing: 0 : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Attendance at Montgomery tax levy hearing: 0
Levy would freeze village portion of tax bills for all but new construction

by John Etheredge


No one from the public attended a public hearing held Monday evening on the Village of Montgomery's proposed 2014 annual property tax levy.

Village President Matt Brolley opened and then closed the hearing before an empty gallery in the board meeting room at village hall.

The board is expected to vote to adopt the $2,126,959 levy during their next regularly scheduled meeting set for Monday, Dec. 9.

The proposed levy is three percent higher than the $2,059,562 levy the board adopted for this year last December.

But when questioned by board members, Jeff Zoephel, village administrator, said the additional $48,543 the village will receive under the new levy would come from properties added to the village's tax roll over the past year.

Property owners previously on the tax roll should not see any increase to the village's poartion of the tax bill they receive next spring increase, Zoephel confirmed.

In order to receive property tax revenues, the board is required to adopt the tax levy by Dec. 31 and then file it with officials in Kane and Kendall counties.

Next spring, officials with the two counties will calculate individual tax bills by multiplying the total tax rate of the local governmental agencies by the equalized assessed valuation (EAV) of each property. The product of that calculation-minus any exemptions-is how much each property owner will pay in property taxes.

Historically, the village has accounted for a very small portion of the amount owed on each tax bill.

Under the village's current tax rate of just over 53 cents per every $100 of EAV, the owner of a home valued at $180,000 that did not claim any exemptions paid $318.30 in property taxes to the village this year.

"We estimate the new growth added about $11 million in new EAV (in the past year)," Zoephel said.

Initially, village staff had proposed a tax levy that would have totaled $2,175,502. That levy would have allowed the village to maintain its current tax for the new year, but might have also cost homeowners on the village tax rolls prior to this year a few extra dollars on the village portion of their tax bills.

But the board instructed village staff Nov. 11 to limit the levy increase to only revenues from properties added to the tax roll over the past year to allow the village to maintain its tax rate at 53 cents.

Board member Steve Jungermann questioned village staff if the reduced levy will serve to freeze the amount residents will pay to the village next year.

Referring to village residents, Jungermann asked, "So if they see an increase (on next year's tax bills), it will be an increase based upon an increase in their EAV or the assessed value of the property, correct?"

"In theory, yes," VanVooren said.

"We estimated the amount in revenue we'll receive from the new growth to the best of our abilities," Zoephel said, adding, "It (the levy) will capture just that."

As in the past, tax levy revenues received next year will be distributed amongst five separate village funds. Here is a listing of those funds along with the proposed amount in property tax revenues they will receive: Corporate, $955,555; Illinois Municipal Retirement, $225,181; Police Pension, $455,783; Liability Insurance, $265,259; and Social Security, $225,181.

In reviewing the proposed tax levy, the board also reviewed the proposed tax levees for 13 separate SSA (Special Service Area) funds for subdivisions throughout the village. The SSAs are added to the property tax bills of the subdivision residents to pay for upkeep of stormwater detention and other public facilities in the subdivisions.

When questioned by board members, Justin VanVooren, the village's finance director, said the SSA levees total about $450,000-the same amount as levied this year.

Jungermann noted that village residents are "extremely sensitive" to what they are being charged under the SSA levy.

"We are doing everything we can to make sure that everything is as accurate as possible," he said, adding, "I know in the past there were a couple of little mistakes..."

Mike Pubentz, the village's director of public works, agreed with Jungermann and said, "Our intent is to review the numbers and only levy the amount we need to complete the work as adopted by the village for our stormwater basin program."

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