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Village Approves Fresh Tax Increase, but Offers 55 Percent Rebate Opportunity

The village's property tax levy will increase by about 4.8 percent from last year.

The New Lenox Village Board of Trustees Monday adopted the 2012-2013 property tax levy, which reflects a 4.8 percent increase over a year ago.

Last year, villagers also saw an increase that averaged $10 as well. However, the village saw $5.3 million in fresh growth in 2011.

This year, growth from new homes and medical facilities brought in to accommodate Silver Cross Hospital made up for only $1.8 million, said Kim Auchstetter, finance director. 

Meanwhile, the equalized assessed value of New Lenox homes is estimated to be down about 5.5 percent compared to a 5 percent drop last year, said Auchstetter. The drop is due to the diminished value of homes in 2011. 

Overall, the village is expected to levy $2.3 million. That amount coincides with the state's 3 percent property tax extension limitation set for non-home rule municipalities.

Mayor Tim Baldermann said despite the village's two-year-old home rule status, which gives it the authority to tax at higher rates, this municipality is not going to exercise that right. 

The deadline for submitting the property tax rebate form is Dec. 14

He added that while the village's portion of the overall property tax bill is only 3.9 percent, homeowners who take advantage of the property tax rebate taxpayers will get about half of that back.

Last year, the value of an average $200,000 home in 2011 paid $195 to the village in taxes, added Auchstetter.

This year that same property sustained a drop in its Equalized Assessed Valuation, bringing the value down to $195,000. The diminished value forced an increase in the multiplier to capture the same amount of money necessary to operate. Therefore, a homeowner who paid $195 last year, while the EAV was up, would pay $196 this year.

However, the village's tax rebate program offers homeowners a 55 percent rebate in what's owed to the municipality. The rebate program was initiated after the community approved a  home-rule referendum in 2008.

That vote authorized the village to boost the sales tax by 1 percent. The trade-off was a promise to rebate 33 percent of residents' property tax bills.

With all factors put together, Trustee Ray Tuminello said, "Residents are actually ahead by $10."

In 2010, the first year of rebates, the village went above that promise and refunded 40 percent of property taxes. In the program's second year, that increased to half the property tax dollars collected.

Baldermann said that ultimately, the Village Board's goal is to rebate 100 percent of property taxes. Last year, . 

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Glenn Brooks December 11, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Feed the Beast.
Amy December 12, 2012 at 01:58 AM
I don't understand. Why not just have us pay less in the first place, then they wouldn't have to worry about giving us a rebate back? Less paperwork!
NL hometown December 12, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Would that mean that the industrial would get the same break as residential if the rate was lower? If so, I am in favor of doing it this way. Ann, do you know?
Ann Piasecki December 12, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Hi NL. I think Kim Auchstetter, the Village Finance Director, would be a far better resource for that kind of question. Send her an email. She's great.
Will County Resident December 12, 2012 at 06:18 AM
Amy, the reason for this as I understand it, is that they charge the property tax rate higher so that commercial properties get charged the high rate as well. After the extra money is taken from commercial properties, a rebate is then given to homeowners. I could be mistaken, but I have heard this is the reason for homeowner rebates. I too would like a system where we all pay less. Maybe not having to process rebates would slightly lower our taxes even further to help offset any lost dollars to homeowners.
Amy December 12, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Thank you! If that is why, then it makes more sense to me.

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