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Woodstock property tax bills expected to rise despite steady levy

WOODSTOCK – Residents can expect to see the city portion of their property tax bills rise next year even if City Council members adopt the proposed, slightly lower tax levy.

The Woodstock City Council on Tuesday accepted a resolution that estimates the fiscal 2014-15 tax levy at $9.4 million, about $100,000 lower than the city’s estimate last year but a 4.5 percent increase over what it actually collected.

Final approval for the levy is set for the Dec. 3 council meeting.

Based on the estimate, the tax rate is expected to climb from 1.87 percent in 2012 to 2.14 percent in 2013.

That means the owner of a $184,000 home that falls in equalized assessed value by 8 percent – the estimated average – will pay about $48 more in property taxes, even though the home would have been worth $200,000 a year ago.

The owner of a $230,000 home, which would have been worth $250,000 last year, will pay about $65 more in property taxes. A home valued at $138,000 – $150,000 a year ago – will cost a homeowner $33 more in property taxes.

The city’s tax levy affects just a portion of Woodstock residents’ tax bills.

Councilman Mike Turner said he’s happy with how the city has approached the levy in recent years despite a property tax system he called “convoluted.”

“I think relative to other taxing bodies, we’ve done an exceptional job,” Turner said.

Last year, the city took in about $9 million after passing a $9.5 million levy. City Manager Roscoe Stelford expected a similar drop this year, possibly to below the total collected last year.

The final extension won’t be determined until property values are set in the spring.

“It could put us in the similar ballpark as we were last year,” he said.

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