Assessed home values workshop
Thursday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m.
Blackberry Township office
43W390 Main Street Road, Elburn
For information, contact Uwe Rotter at (630) 365- 6580 or visit www.blackberrytwp.com
by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board on Dec. 3 approved a tentative tax levy of $824,000 for the 2012 tax year—an increase of 22.59 percent over the amount extended from the previous year.
The vote was unanimous, with trustees Ethan Hastert and Jeff Walter absent from the meeting.
Village President Dave Anderson explained that the request is the same amount the village levied for last year. The actual amount extended by the county to Elburn last year was $672,148, and Anderson said he didn’t think the county would approve the amount requested this year, either.
“We’re hoping to hold steady with the $667,000, but we don’t think we’re going to get that much,” he said.
During the public hearing, several Elburn residents expressed their concerns over the levies, as well as the level of services the village is able to provide.
Ron Rosecky said he recalled Anderson saying last winter that the village might not be able to plow unless there were four inches of snow. Rosecky said he wondered if that could be the case this year.
Anderson told him that plowing expenses are often difficult to estimate ahead of time, and the need to pull back on the services would depend on how often the plows were needed this winter.
“This being Dec. 3 and this being 70 degrees, the longer this lasts, the less you will have to worry about it,” Anderson said.
Anderson acknowledged that the scenario in question could happen.
“We on the board take our responsibility very seriously,” he said.
Anderson said the board is ultimately responsible for getting the snow plowed, as well as for police protection and other basic services.
“This board has done an exemplary job of holding the line, but it’s getting harder and harder,” he said.
Anderson also explained that the board has cut close to $400,000 of expenses within the last three to four years.
Other residents in attendance, such as Gene Taylor, said that homeowners were feeling the pinch from all the taxing bodies, including the schools. He said that assessed values remain high, even though actual home values are going down.
“The homeowner is starting to feel the squeeze,” Taylor said. “At some point, you have to say enough is enough.”
Property taxes account for about 30 percent of the entire village budget, Anderson explained. Together with sales tax and the amount the village receives back from the state from resident income taxes, it makes up 90 percent of all funds the village receives.
Anderson said that if residents look at the line items on their property tax bill, they would see that taxes to the village for its expenses make up only 4 percent of the bill.
“That’s for police protection, plowing, among other things,” he said. “The money’s got to come from someplace.”
Anderson suggested that residents attend one of the presentations conducted by Blackberry Township Supervisor Uwe Rotter on assessed home values, and how they are determined.
“It’s done by a three-year rolling average,” Anderson said.
The next workshop will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20, at the Blackberry Township office, 43W390 Main Street Road, Elburn. For more information, contact Rotter at (630) 365-6580 or visit www.blackberrytwp.com.