by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board voted to approve a tax levy increase of 24.86 percent, which represents a 22.5 percent decrease from the amount requested last year.
Only Trustee Jerry Schmidt voted against the levy.
“I just believe that now is not a good time to raise taxes for the village of Elburn,” Schmidt said. “I believe there are other areas we could cut instead of raising taxes.”
The tax levy is the first step in a complicated process used to calculate how much each property owner owes in real estate taxes. The levy is the total amount of tax revenue a taxing body requests from Kane County.
“It’s a request by the village to the county for tax dollars needed to support the services provided by the village, such as potable water, wastewater treatment, police protection, streets, and insurance, pensions and audit,” Village President Dave Anderson said.
However, the amount actually disbursed from the county (also called the tax extension) is often less than the levy amount.
For example, the village’s tax levy last year was $939,718, but the actual extension made by the county was $659,933, or about 70 percent of the original request. Anderson said receipts to date show the village still has $700 of the money that was actually extended last year.
The amount to be levied for 2011 is $824,000, which Anderson said he doesn’t expect to receive.
“The bottom line … history has shown it’s not gonna happen, and I guarantee it will not happen,” he said. “If it did, the taxpayer owning a $250,000 real value home—their taxes for the village of Elburn would increase $108.”
Once the total tax extension is determined, that dollar amount is divided by the total equalized assessed valuation of all the property in the village. This then sets the tax rate, which is then applied to each individual property’s equalized assessed value to determine the property taxes owed on that property.
The board has cut more than $300,000 in salaries in the last two-and-a-half years and saved $60,000 by restructuring the health insurance program. Another $300,000 was sheared off the bottom line by negotiating with ComEd on the secondary power source for the wastewater treatment plant, something that is required by law.
Despite those cost-saving measures or Anderson’s assertion that the village will not receive its full levy amount, the potential increase in the village’s tax extension combined with a drop in its total equalized assessed valuation means that tax rates—and possibly total property tax dollars owed—may increase.
The Kane County Assessor’s office has numerous presentations available online to help explain the tax levy process at www.co.kane.il.us/soa/Presentations.htm.