HARVARD – The Harvard City Council on Tuesday opted to take a step back and re-examine a proposal to raise its total tax levy by 4.9 percent.
Mayor Jay Nolan said he wanted to give some of the younger aldermen a chance to fully understand the process before setting a levy, which helps determine the rate for a portion of Harvard residents' property tax bills.
The levy will go back to committee Tuesday.
"It's a big deal," Nolan said. "They need to understand it."
Harvard currently has a tax rate of $2 per $100 of equalized assessed value.
The 4.9 percent increase proposed Tuesday – to the levy, not the rate – would raise the city's overall levy to about $2.5 million.
Because levies are influenced by property values, the total amount the city will collect won't be known until the spring, when the property values are set. That figure will determine property owners' tax rates.
In 2012, Harvard passed the same 4.9 percent increase but, because of falling property values, collected the same amount as the prior year.
"In today's market, freezing your levy means you're collecting less," City Administrator Dave Nelson said.
Nelson said he expects City Council members to have an open discussion and consider several options Tuesday.
"These guys are debating whether to keep it at 4.9 percent, or it could change," he said.