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Algonquin preparing for a tax levy freeze

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 10:02 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 11:03 p.m. CDT

ALGONQUIN – With final property value assessments in the county nearing their publication date, the village is preparing its levy for next year’s tax bills.

Village officials proposed Tuesday to keep the levy the same as last year’s: $5.48 million. That amount was the lowest since 2007.

The final levy ordinance is scheduled to be adopted by the Village Board in mid-November.

According to village documents, officials estimate that property values will decline by 8.7 percent. The estimate includes reassessments of existing residential and commercial property and a limited amount of new growth.

For this year’s tax bills, the tax rate was $0.618 per $100 of equalized assessed property value. The village is estimating the tax rate will increase to $0.677 per $100 of EAV. The final property tax rate won’t be determined until property values are set in the spring.

Finance Director John Walde said Tuesday this is the sixth year in a row the village has not increased its tax levy.

“We’re doing very well in this economy in making our efforts to keep people’s tax payments stable to the village,” Walde said.

Trustee Debby Sosine thanked staff members for keeping the levy the same.

“This is a real benefit to our citizens,” Sosine said.

In other business, the board is considering an ordinance that would codify a practice of not allowing photographs on cemetery monuments.

The village has had a few requests recently from people asking to have photographs as part of grave monuments.

“Damage inevitably occurs to these photographs through normal maintenance practices, and the village would then be responsible to repair said damages if so requested by the family,” Village Manager Tim Schloneger wrote in a village memo.

He wrote restricting photographs on permanent grave sites is an effort to “maintain a uniform appearance and aesthetically pleasing environment in the cemetery.”

Trustee Robert Smith questioned whether this was the right thing to do because photographs designed to be on tombstones may already have maintenance figured into the cost.

Village President John Schmitt said the village would be responsible for fixing damages to the photographs on tombstones.

“That’s an expense I don’t know we want to incur because that’s not something that’s easily replaceable, where as a standard headstone is certainly not easy to replace but it is doable,” Schmitt said.

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